Charlotte’s Web – Another Story

Mac was in my preschool class for the past two years.  He always loved chapter reading and was a vessel full of questions.  Does chapter reading work with the youngest of children?  Can a four-year-old grasp the content?  Do they have the capacity to understand and feel the emotion in good books?

Yes!

I begin chapter reading on ‘day one’ of school, and I begin with Charlotte’s Web.  We jump in with both feet.  By the time we get to the end of the book it is mid to late October. Children and teachers have bonded, the routine is comfortable, and chapter reading is popular.  When Charlotte dies, children cry.  I cry.  When Charlotte’s babies are born, we are elated – together.  The roller coaster of emotions help children to become kind and understanding.

I am not only growing readers, I am sowing the seeds of goodness.

It comes as no surprise that Charlotte’s Web is often the children’s favorite chapter reading book. Nothing says it better than an email and photo from Mac’s parents:

***********************************************************************

Jennie,

We have been thinking of you and the GCS family all summer. After a few weeks in Texas, we are now in Vermont enjoying the cool nights.

To celebrate our annual backyard camping night, Mac was delighted to select his own copy of Charlotte’s Web from the bookstore near here. And he and Colin read many chapters in the tent underneath the stars until Mac couldn’t keep his eyes open.

We miss you!
Love from the Igoes

I will always champion for reading aloud.  -Jennie-

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Book Review, books, chapter reading, children's books, Death and dying, E.B. White, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Kindness, preschool, reading aloud, reading aloud, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Charlotte’s Web – Another Story

  1. beetleypete says:

    How nice of them to send you that, and for you to have such confirmation of what you know in your heart to be true.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Ritu says:

    That is just heartwarming 😍

  3. Isn’t this wonderful, Jennie. It really warms my heart.

  4. srbottch says:

    And it’s fun for the reader, too, as you well know. Great book and nice job, Jennie.

  5. Opher says:

    We used to read Charlotte’s Web to our kids. They loved it. You can’t beat reading stories.

  6. It worked! 😉 Have a beautiful weekend, Jennie! Best wishes, Michael

  7. Darlene says:

    What a great post that just reinforces what we all believe to be true. xo

  8. ksbeth says:

    Aw – there you go! Of course you were right, children love the experience of chapter book listening/reading

  9. What a lovely testimonial to the power of sharing books together!

  10. That is so sweet! If more parents read aloud to their children we’d have more adult readers later on, and we know that generally, it makes a more well-rounded, well-adjusted person if they read.

  11. Léa says:

    Jennie, an excellent choice! Though it was about a million years ago, I remember reading it so well. It got better with each subsequent “first” reading as each of the children came along. To see it in their faces and sparkling in their eyes, is such a joy. Thank you.
    Actually, it was this book that came to mind for a character in a story I’m writing. The child, an early reader, is helping a neighbor with her reading and that is the chosen book.

  12. Dan Antion says:

    What a nice thing for them to do. It must make you feel wonderful to see the habits you encourage taking root.

  13. Ren says:

    So…..when do you open the Jennie for Kids Museum of Memorabilia? Jennie, you have lived to experience a very rich, rewarding and fulfilling life. I am elated for you and every heart you have ever touched, young and old.

    • Jennie says:

      Awww… that’s so nice, Ren. Yes, I have lived a rich life and fulfilling life. I wish everyone could understand that what matters most is not money. It’s the giving that eventually becomes an enormous reward. Really. But you know that. 🙂

  14. AJ says:

    Aww what an awesome email to get. I read chapter books throughout my school year too.

    • Jennie says:

      It was one of the best emails to get from a parent. The photo is a classic for reading aloud. I’m soooo glad you read aloud chapter books, too! Thanks, AJ.

  15. Jennie how wonderful to get that kind of loving, beautiful feedback. You are a treasure. Hugs on the wing!

  16. I agree that reading aloud is great for people of all ages! I was just hired as an intervention specialist at the high school level and while it’ll be more of a co-teaching position, I am trying to find ways to incorporate reading aloud.

    • Jennie says:

      This is music to my ears! I dearly wish my high school teachers – any of them – had read aloud to the class. As an intervention specialist, reading aloud is even more important. Great story: in my hometown of Groton, MA there is a prep school, Lawrence Academy. The head of the English Department teaches twelfth grade English. She and I have talked about reading aloud. She sees that her students desperately need this. We both read aloud in the same way, lights out, heads down. So, I hope that inspires you. Also, fellow blogger Charles French teaches English at Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College. Yes, he reads aloud. Really!While he may be reading Shakespeare and I am reading Charlotte’s Web, it is the same thing. Best to you, Harmony.

  17. Luanne says:

    Such a great book! I often taught it in ,y children’s lit classes!

  18. petespringerauthor says:

    You’re the best, Jennie! All preschool teachers should have your passion. I love the photo, and I immediately flashed back to those wonderful times with my son.

  19. jilldennison says:

    You are such an awesome teacher!!! I began reading to my granddaughter, Natasha, before she was even 24 hours old, and it became a nightly ritual. She is now almost 25, and we still read together, not every night, but often. We have graduated now from Dr. Seuss to Michael Vey and Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

  20. And that email to you says it all Jennie, what a brilliant teacher you are.. Chapter reading on a regular day within my infant school is one of my own most childhood cherished memories, I think I told you before the book was The Borrowers.. It held me spell bound thinking tiny people lived beneath the floorboards 🙂 And I still remember it clearly.
    Yes you are planting seeds, and you are nurturing young minds to become those caring kind adults..
    Much love to you Jennie, I hope you are enjoying your own Summer break..
    Love and Blessings your way Jennie
    Sue ❤

  21. Norah says:

    It’s so lovely to receive feedback such as that from parents, Jennie. It’s so wonderful to know that the work you do is being carried over into other lives and hearts. Charlotte’s Web is a beautiful tale.

  22. There’s the reward, a new lover of books, and a great story! What a wonderful gift to be given such marvelous feedback and photo of Mac and his dad reading in the tent. I got goosebumps again!

  23. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you for another wonderful post!

  24. Kally says:

    This is so Super sweet! I’m inspired by you and this post.

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