The Richmond Register

November 15, 2013

‘Charlotte’s Web:' Kit Carson students meet real-life Wilbur

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Around half of the students in Lori Sizemore’s second-grade class at Kit Carson Elementary had never seen a real pig before, they indicated through a show of hands.

But after completing a two-week unit on E.B. White’s children’s novel “Charlotte’s Web,” Sizemore wanted her students to have a “real-life connection” to the characters in the book.

On Thursday, a 12-day-old piglet named Wilbur, born at Tangled Webb Farms in Richmond, made his first public appearance in Sizemore’s class.

The name of the farm and the name of the book are totally coincidental, Sizemore said.

After learning Charlotte the spider’s “fancy way of saying hello,” eight-year-old Ashton Howard greeted Kit Carson staff member Lisa Webb with a friendly, “Salutations.”

This sparked a conversation about “Charlotte’s Web,” during which Webb revealed a litter of piglets had been born on the farm she owns with her husband, Randal, who brought the newborn to Kit Carson on Thursday.

During the two-week unit, Sizemore’s students learned about pigs and spiders through Internet research. Students studied real spiders captured from around the school and conducted character analysis of Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig and Templeton the rat.

On Friday, students will write a persuasive letter to their parents on reasons why they should be allowed to have a baby pig, Sizemore said.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

Student quotes:

“Spiders use spinnerets to make their webs.” Hailey Blakley, 7

“Baby spiders are kept in an egg sac.” Caidan McQueen, 7

“Spiders have oils on their feet, so that’s why they don’t get caught up in their own web.” Bethany Burns, 7

“Pigs are raised for bacon.” Ashton Howard, 8