Exploring Charlotte’s Web

Students with their models, Balian Allen (who also collected some actual spiders) and Marleigh Miller

Special to Atmore News

Perdido Elementary School third graders in Mrs. Linda McCullough’s and Mrs. Jackie Presley’s classes are enjoying the novel Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White. While they love the story of Charlotte, Templeton, Fern, Wilbur and other characters, students have found great cross-curricular connections with their science, technology research, math (types geometric webs), creative arts and writing.

Data proves that interdisciplinary / cross-curricular teaching provides a meaningful way in which students can use knowledge learned in one context as a knowledge base in other contexts. These types of units increase students’ motivation for learning and their level of engagement. In contrast to learning skills in isolation, when students participate in interdisciplinary experiences they see the value of what they are learning and become more actively engaged.

Students in both classes chose a spider to research. They then wrote a report about their spider which included description, habitat, diet, lifespan, type of web, if it was poisonous, and any interesting additional facts plus a photograph. This was the first half of their project.

Students were then challenged to be creative and create a model of their spider (larger than a golf ball and smaller than a basketball), using any medium they wished other than food.