Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Goodreads Is Proving To Be Good!

Today I got an email from Goodreads saying I had another comment on my thread about Charlotte's Web. I know that the time for research is past, but I felt that her comment was good, and she had spent time in replying to me, so I want to post it.

I asked the Children's Literature group what they thought about Charlotte's Web's themes, relationships, plot and characters. If the book was still useful for students, and how they taught it. Jenny replied:

I read this to my second grade class the last month of school. I think it is a great story...and has many ways that it is valuable. I was planning to copy some of the writing my students did about the characters' and their relationships...but I ran out of time... so I'll just have to paraphrase what I remember them writing... and share a few of my thoughts.

Of course, the most obvious relationship si that between Charlotte and Wilbur. Wilbur starts out as not very confident, but because of Charlotte's belief in him, the praise of others, and his newfound safety, he becomes quite confident by the end of the story...helping to care for Charlotte's eggs and really growing into his own skin. I think that the 3 things I mentioned are all so important in gaining confidence and self-esteem... you must feel safe (physically and emotionally), you need to hear praise and ou need to know that someone believes in you and thinks you can do whatever it is you want to do. Charlotte believes that Wilbur is "some pig" and "radiant" and "humble" and in turn, Wilbur becomes a radiant, humble, confident pig.

A perhaps less obvious relationship is that of Templeton and Wilbur. Many of my students said Templeton was their favorite character. They liked him because he was funny and kind of grumpy. But also, I think, because even though he acts selfish and doesn't want anyone to know that there's goodness in him, there obviously is good in him. He generally only helps Charlotte and Wilbur when there's something in it for him... but when it comes down to it, he does help ...and sometimes without really getting much in return. Charlotte has him pegged.

And there is the relationship between Fern and Wilbur. She is pretty devoted to him, feeding and caring for him and then coming to visit him each day.
She is the only human that can understand the animals as they talk.

This class has been so helpful with its focus on social outreach. I wouldn't ever think to research sites like Goodreads or Twitter to find sources, but if among the many other things learned in such a few short weeks, I've learned that people do care about the topic, and they are out there-it's just a matter of finding them wherever they may be.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you were able to get such an insightful comment from Goodreads--I know Amy was having trouble with that. I really loved Jenny's point about Wilbur becoming the positive attributes and Charlotte assigned to him. It's been years since I read the book, so I hadn't even thought about it in that way before. That comment makes it a much more meaningful book for me. Maybe I'll go out and reread it sometime.