A Warm Wind

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SWBAT ask and answer questions about key details in a literary text. SWBAT identify how characters change and grow throughout a story based on their understanding of key details.

Big Idea

Change is in the air. Spring brings new friends to Wilbur and it's a gift that keeps on giving.


12 minutes

Context and Overview

We come to the last chapter of Charlotte's Web, "A Warm Wind." It's been quite a journey of discovery, and, today, we continue to analyze the key details in the chapter. Through our understanding of the details, we will also be exploring the larger theme of change and how Wilbur has changed throughout the story.

I am having my students reflect and categorize the character traits we have brainstormed as a class and then use them to see Wilbur's transformation.

As we read the chapter with text dependent questions, I will help them keep track of how Wilbur has changed on a chart.

We will then move on to Socratic Seminar. Last, students will get the opportunity to respond in writing and share with their peers to synthesize their understandings about this classic novel.

Opening Activity

After sharing the objective from the rug, I pose the question, "How do people change?" I have them pair share and then a few share out loud: How Do People Change?

Then, I give my students time to Review The Character Traits. They each have a copy of them. After we review them, we are categorizing the traits under the headings: Negative and Positive Traits: Chart For Character Traits and Chart For Character traits2.

Reading: A Warm Wind

30 minutes

I send students to their tables ready to read, and I bring their attention to the white board. I let them know that we will reading the chapter with these Questions In Mind. While we touch up on the changes in Wilbur, I feel it is worth going back and singling out how Wilbur has changed to get a full picture of his transformation and also to establish where we are in the storyline.

I pass out the Quotes and ask them Read the Quote.

Then, I ask them to Find The Quote In The Book. I give them the page number. Why do I have them look it up? I want to provide context from where this quote was taken. After they read it, I ask the students to tell me about Wilbur's changing impressions of Charlotte:

I have created a Chart to record Wilbur's changes. I record Wilbur's newfound impressions of Charlotte as we read the last chapter.

Once we are done reading, I ask them how Wilbur has changed. Here is one response: Wilbur Is Happy Because He Is Not Worried About Being Killed.

We add to the second part of the chart: Chart For How Wilbur Changes.

I read with them pages 172-176 and ask them:

  • What has changed for Wilbur at the barn?
  • How do we know the seasons are changing?
  • How have Avery and Fern changed?
  • What promise does Wilbur keep to Templeton?
  • How has Templeton changed?
  • What do the frogs announce and why is this important?

After page 176, I let E.B. White closes out our reading of Charlotte's Web for us:

Charlotte's Web Ch 22

Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

I review the rules for participating and manner in which they invite each other to participate. I have posted in my classroom charts that provide a review of our expectations:

I have also attached a document that fully details how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom in case you are interested in learning more: Socratic Seminar Rules.

Today we discuss how Wilbur feels about Charlotte and what Charlotte meant for him. Here are their responses:

Writing Response

20 minutes

Now the students are sitting at their desks and responding to the quote in their journals: Why Does Wilbur Change? I give them support with the following:

  • pasting the quote
  • support with spelling
  • support finding evidence
  • support with staying on task

Here are some of their writing samples:

Sharing Whole Group

5 minutes

Now some students get the chance to share with their peers and receive feedback:

The speakers receive feedback in this manner:

  • Two Stars: two different students state specifically what they liked about the content of the work.
  • A Wish: Another student specifically states how they wish the writing can be improved.