Midway through her Nursery year in preschool, H started singing a song about the days of the week, which she learnt in school. I realised that her school had started to casually introduce the days of the week through songs. Of course, the homeschooler in me couldn’t resist taking this a step further. I decided there was no better time to start on our first literature-based study of this classic book by Eric Carle!
We had read The Very Hungry Caterpillar countless times since H was a toddler. I believe it was her first ever introduction to the concept of time and quantities. I don’t think any kid can resist counting how many things the caterpillar ate on each day while pushing their fingers into the little holes on each page!
Besides reading the book again and again, we did many fun activities over the course of 3 weeks. (You could definitely shorten this if you have more hours in a day to homeschool.)
One of the most memorable things we did was to work on beginning sounds using nomenclature (3-part) cards from 1+1+1=1’s printable pack. In fact, we completed almost all of the activities in it. H was 4 years 4 months at the time and the concept of beginning sounds had just ‘clicked’ for her, so she enjoyed it. Why was it memorable? Because I recorded part of this lesson on video and the things she said turned out to be very funny. It remains one of my fondest memories in our (short) homeschool history.
I purchased this Story Sequencing Activity from Teachers Notebook while planning this lesson way before we started on it. Luckily, I remembered its existence! (I have so many digital materials in my ‘arsenal’, at times I forget I own something.) We had much fun retelling the story using the sequencing cards, not to mention they looked so appealing too! Through this activity, H got to understand the concept of sequencing and developed print awareness of number words and days of the week words.
H is still crazy about cutting and pasting (it’s been over a year!), so I try to include cut-and-paste activities in every unit we study. This time around she enjoyed this healthy and unhealthy food sorting activity.
I bought this Colorforms set at a book sale a while back and remembered to dig it out. These Colorforms pieces work like reusable stickers and I’ve yet to come across a kid who doesn’t love stickers! It was a hit with H; she had fun retelling the story with the boards and stickers, and just playing with them.
No lesson plan is complete without an art and craft activity! There are hundreds of caterpillar craft ideas out there. We ended up doing a couple of simple crafts with dot stickers, googly eyes, Do-A-Dot markers and fingerprint stamping. You could also use pom pom balls or buttons or other round objects for the caterpillar’s body.
As you can see, some caterpillars were happy, some were sad and others were surprised.
H is not a fan of colouring, but I printed out a few colouring pages from Making Learning Fun anyway (they were too cute to pass up!) and we used them for dot painting and collaging instead.
We also watched The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories DVD. Then I remembered we had caterpillar- and butterfly-related printables from our copy of Animal ABCs and I dug those out, too.
Some relevant materials you may find useful for your study of The Very Hungry Caterpillar: