The Miracle at Zuckerman's Barn!

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SWBAT ask and answer questions about an event in a literary text.

Big Idea

The foggy morning unveils the miracle of Charlotte's plan. In the center of her web, SOME PIG, is clearly seen. The farm is never the same.


7 minutes

Context and Overview

Today, we continue on reading the next chapter of Charlotte's Web, "The Miracle." With this chapter, I am engaging the students in making predictions and confirming those predictions.

Then, we move on to reading the chapter with some text dependent questions. These questions ask explicitly what the text says and students are challenged to find text evidence to answer the questions accurately.

After that, I gather the students on the rug to review the events of the book because the students will be choosing an event to write about. I will be modeling for them for them.

Finally, a couple of students will share their work.

Opening Activity

On the rug, I share the objective and then we review what we has happened so far in the story. I believe it is important to review, as it helps students connect old knowledge with new knowledge. Also, it helps me to focus them.

Making Predictions

5 minutes

Making accurate predictions is an important skill in reading comprehension. That is part of why I am continuing to engage my students in it. They need the practice, too. Before they make the prediction, I ask them to think about what has has happened so far in the story, as well as the title of the new chapter, so that they make a prediction based on evidence.

I have a chart which helps them to remember how I want them to write their sentence. They can either write:

  • I predict ... because ...
  • I think ... because ...

Here are some examples of their predictions: 

I make sure to confirm their predictions:

A shift with the CCSS is for students to support their thinking with evidence. I set up different ways in which I help my students practice their reasoning.

Reading the Chapter: The Miracle

25 minutes

The text dependent questions that I created for the chapter, "The Miracle," ask students to dig into the text to find evidence to answer the questions. For this chapter, these are the questions I am asking:

  1. What is the day like?
  2. What appears on the web?
  3. What do Lurvy and Mr. Zuckerman think at first?
  4. What do they think about Wilbur?
  5. How does this change their thinking about Wilbur?
  6. How do the words, "Some Pig," change life on the farm?
  7. What Is The Miracle? 

In reading the text, I do most of the reading as students follow along and focus on the questions, which I gave them to read ahead of time so that they could process what evidence they would need to look for as we read.

Confirming Predictions

5 minutes

After reading the chapter, I give my students the opportunity to confirm their predictions. In confirming their predictions, they are to write a sentence about what actually happened in the story. 

I feel it is important to confirm. In this way, I am giving my students the chance to check their understanding. Also, I feel it is important for them to write their confirmation sentence under their prediction sentence. 

Here are some examples of their confirmations:






Reviewing Events/Modeling An Event

15 minutes

I gather the students on the rug. I review the events with them and reference the  Classroom Chart of Charlotte's Web we have created together. I like creating different charts for my students. It helps me ground their attention and in this case this chart is an organic record of what is happening.

We review the events. Then, I choose one event and I model for them how I want them to answer questions around this event: Modeling With Chart.

I choose to write about the event when Fern saves the runty pig. I title it: Fern Saves Runt.

I have made a chart with 6 categories. Each category is titled with one of the questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

I show them how I answer these questions with words, phrases and in some cases with full sentences. The reason they are looking closely at one event is because they will take this information and write an article about it. 

When I am done, I ask them to think about an event they want to write about. I give them a few moments of thinking.

Before each student goes back to their seat, they need to let me know what event they will be working on. They share the event and I give them the template. I do this so that they walk back to their seats with a focus in mind.

Working On our Events

20 minutes

As students work on their events, I walk around and make sure they understand how to go about answering the questions about the event. Some students will need help with direction to where to find the event. Others will need help with how to formulate the questions. Others will need encouragement.

While every student will be working on a different event, they are welcomed to work together, as long as they are getting their work done. Students will sit around the room Working On Events. Some will need to Reference The Classroom Chart as they work.

It is always a good idea to give students - especially at this age - as much support visually as possible. It helps them be to self-reliant.

Sharing Their Events

10 minutes

I give my students the opportunity to share with their peers for various reasons. One, it builds community because students give each other feedback in a very respectful way. The speakers expect to listen to praise and how to improve their work. Two, my students get to practice their academic language and build their listening and speaking skills.

This is the system I used for students to give each other feedback:

  • Two stars: Two different students give specific details about they liked about the speaker's work.
  • A wish: Another student shares specifically how the work can improve.

I have not had a student who has been embarrassed to share their thoughts or a speaker who has walked away feeling hurt. By having the feedback be specific this helps the speaker feel very much praised.

Here are the speakers for today: