In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur is a role model to children because he submerges his identity into something larger than himself.
Death is a reality in Charlotte's Web. From the opening line of "Where's Papa going with that axe" to how the life of an animal is always subject to death, Wilbur is placed in a world where he could choose to look at his survival as the only element that has importance. However, Wilbur learns from Charlotte's example of self-sacrifice. He is saddened when he sees that Charlotte has died. He shows honor and dignity in the way he takes care of her young and in the way he makes her a permanent part of his life. While the ending is ambiguous, it can be read that Wilbur is going to keep Charlotte's memory alive. He will not let harm come to her hatchlings and he will continue to honor her presence with the way he will live his own life.
Wilbur can be seen as a role model for children because he identifies with something larger than himself. When Charlotte dies, he does not think about himself. Rather, he connects with something wider by seeing himself as the caretaker of Charlotte's memory and in protecting her little ones. Wilbur's lesson can teach children how we must live our lives with a wide scope of compassion and empathy for others. Wilbur does not live as an island who is constantly afraid of death. He reciprocates Charlotte's lesson of sacrifice by living for something beyond himself. In this lesson, children can recognize the importance of giving to others and that the strands of life's web inextricably connect us to one another.