Charlotte's Web at AwesomeStories

E.B. (Andy) White is distracted by a gray spider spinning a web. On his way to feed a pig (who lives in White's North Brooklin barn), the author of Charlotte's Web is intrigued. That spider is so interesting. Working hard, it can produce strands of silk at least as strong as similarly-sized strands of steel. How could such a thing be?

Not long before observing the spider, White had lost one of his pigs (even though he had worked really hard to nurse it back to health). White's essay, “Death of a Pig,” tells us that the animal "had evidently become precious to me."

So ... what if it were possible for White to give the pig a different ending? And ... what if he includes a spider, whom he calls Charlotte, in his story? This is the background for the beloved book, Charlotte's Web.

In this AwesomeStory behind the book:

  • Meet a real version of Charlotte;
  • Listen to E.B. White read a passage from his famous story;
  • Virtually visit White’s farm (in the “Down East” part of Maine);
  • Watch a spider, like Charlotte, spinning a web;
  • Learn how she catches (and eats) food;
  • Find out how her wingless babies (called spiderlings) can “fly” (or “balloon”) from the place where they were hatched;
  • See what life is like at the Zuckerman farm (modeled, in the book, on Andy White's own North Brooklin home); and
  • Meet some interesting farm animals (including Wilbur and Templeton).

Charlotte’s Web, White's much-loved story for elementary students, comes alive at AwesomeStories. Depending on a teacher’s preference, students can:

  • "See” the story unfolding before their eyes in class (then view it, with their parents, at home);
  • “Think about” the story (with essential questions, such as "Does creating a fictional story, about a real event, help us to process sadness?”); and

Using an integrated approach—combining visual arts, science and language arts—students experience Charlotte’s Web in personalized-learning fashion with words and concepts suitable for a range of achievement levels. Students can then create their own stories, using the AwesomeStories’ archive of primary sources, to produce their own related stories to share with their class, their family and (if accepted for publication) … the whole online world!

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5199stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 27, 2019

Updated Last Revision: Jun 22, 2024

Media Credits

Image of a barn spider online via InChemistry.

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Charlotte's Web at AwesomeStories" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 27, 2019. Jun 21, 2024.
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