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Wilbur’s First Day

Subject:

Language Arts  

Grades:

4, 5  

Title – Wilbur’s First Day
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 4-5

Unit contents:

Subject: Writing

Illinois State Goals: 1. Read with understanding and fluency
2. Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas
3. Write to communicate for a variety of purposes

Instructional Objective:
Students will write a short story of one or two paragraphs about Wilbur’s first day in the manure pile in the cellar of Zuckerman’s barn.

Supplies:
* Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
* writer’s notebooks

Anticipatory Set:
* I will begin by asking the children how they like the story so far.
* I will ask them what they think of Wilbur: Is he a nice pig? Is he mean? Does he sound like fun? Would you like to have a pet pig?
* I will ask the children if they know what manure is. I will explain to them what manure is, and how it helps farmers to fertilize their land so they can grow more crops. I will also explain to them that pigs enjoy playing in mud, dirt, and manure.

Activities:
1. I will ask them why they think pigs like to be dirty. I will ask them how they think Wilbur felt when he played in the manure pile.
2. I will tell the children to pretend that they are Wilbur. I will instruct them to try to think as if they are actually him.
3. I will explain that each student will be given a writer’s notebook to write in during the course of the week. I will pass out the notebooks, instruct students to write their names on the front, and tell them to open them up to the first page.
4. I will instruct the children to put their ideas down on paper. The children should write short accounts of Wilbur’s first day in the manure pile, from his point of view. I will stress to them that they should use the words “I” and “me” since they are pretending to be Wilbur.
5. Students will have about thirty to forty-five minutes to complete their accounts.

Adaptations:
Cassie (LD)- While the other students are writing, I will allow her to come to a quiet corner with me. There, I will ask her questions about how she thinks Wilbur felt, and I will write her responses down.

Closure:
* When students have finished, I will call upon students to share their stories about Wilbur’s experience.
* I will instruct the children to put their notebooks in their desks because they will be using them throughout the week.

Evaluation:
Students will be evaluated on the length and quality of their writing. Stories must be at least one paragraph long, and they must be from Wilbur’s point of view.

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