The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Eric Carle Author Study

We used oil pastels to decorate the green covers and do all the art inside…

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is another of my favorite books. It is so clever and cute, and it’s a great addition to the insect unit we are about done with!!!

As a class we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and students orally retell the story using  character cut-outs from DLTK’s website link HERE. Then we did a Butterfly Life Cycle earlier as part of the science rotation I did in our first grade team. So my class adds this writing project retell to our science unit on life cycles.  

Lots of the kids drew bright and colorful fruits for the caterpillar to munch on…
It’s so cute to see the holes punched in each page. I punch 1 hole for page 1 where he “eats through one item”….then I punch 2 holes for page 2….3 holes for page 3….4 holes for page 4 etc……
The end of the story has a chrysallis and then a pretty butterfly pops out! That dark green thing in the middle is the cocoon. I just freehand drew them, along with mini caterpillars to draw on each page and copied them off with the butterflies…


 We do a fun and creative innovation on Carle’s book. I cut construction paper into 4 inch wide strips the long lengthwise way. Then  I staple them into pages with these lengths; 4,5,6, 7,8,9,10 inch lengths. Then punch 2 holes through 2nd page, 3 holes through 3rd page, etc. See my sample. The only real instructions they had after we brainstormed food items on the board, was to use 1 adjective or describing word on EVERY PAGE!  They are getting good at creative writing now!


Emma did these cute illustrations..5 holes on Friday, Double that on Saturday.
I punch holes in the pages 1 hole Monday up to 10 holes Saturday
The kids have to come up with a ton of stuff to have that poor caterpillar eat!

Then we rewrite the story doing our OWN version…. filling in food items we choose to write about. I bought the caterpillar and book at Kohls last year for $5.00. Actually I got the caterpillar for $2.50 because they were leftover on clearance! Gotta love a bargain! Hard to believe huh?  I love Eric Carle books! He’s a great one to do an author’s study on….kids love his books!

Author Eric Carle

Other fun books by Eric Carle are out so
kids can read them and we can add to ourknowledge base on insects…..And we cancompare and contrast them to spiders!


A cute butterfly coloring page is HERE at Twisty Noodle. We will attach the  poem below to the back of our Hungry Caterpillar books and read it together! The best part about the book is using Crayola oil pastels to do the pictures of all the foods the hungry caterpillar eats during the week.


POETRY or MUSIC (Sing to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider)

A little, green caterpillar crawling on a leaf,

Spun a little chrysalis, and fell fast asleep.

Then while she was sleeping, She dreamed that she could fly.

 And later when she woke up, she was a BUTTERFLY!


I have bugs, handheld viewers, cards to look at….
I bought a kids microscope on sale with strips of butterfly life cycle slides…kids LOVE to go to this center



Graphing- What is your favorite bug? Butterflies? Honeybees? Grasshoppers? Dragonfly? Ladybugs? These were our top 5 we voted on. Guess which one was the winner?

The dragonflies were the winner on our Weekly graph….
We gave these Dollar Store bug holders out to a few kids to find “bugs” at recess….Joe brought in a centipede!

Here we are doing our +10, -10, +5, -2, Math Caterpillars


Estimation- Estimate how many Dollar Store bugs  are in the jar?I don’t have very many so everybody is really close on this one! I give a ring pop for 1st place. Everybody else gets a GUMMY WORM!

Estimation Jar….Nova won! 30 bugs!
We are making our caterpillar math projects….roll 2 dice…write number… Plus 10, minus 10, plus 5, minus 2…


Watch a monarch butterfly come out of its chrysalis on video.

 http://www/  Do a life cycle of a butterfly. A link for a black line page of the 4 stages of a Butterfly can be found Here at Digital  They have lots of games, a podcast and another video of a butterfly pupa stage. You can also buy the butterfly larva at Carolina Biological Supply for about $15.00. The link is Here for Carolina Biological Supply. I usually don’t send away for them until April anyway so now would be a great time to do it!


I have 2 big boxes full of insect material and about 15 books….


 P.E. “Bug Garden”.  Have students sit in chairs in a big circle. One student is in the middle without a chair. Give students names;1 ladybug, 2 dragonfly, 3 butterfly, 4 honeybee.  Then start over going around and around the circle till all are named. Then tell the caller to call out an insect name. (bees) All the bees must jump up and fly to another chair. Nobody who was a bee can stay in the same chair. The caller grabs one of the chairs and sits. The one who is leftover is the new caller. Then one fun part of the game is if the caller says “Fly Away Bugs!” then all the bugs get up and trade places. Last one to find a seat is the new caller!


More of my insect book collection…I like text “sets” of fiction with a non-fiction topic…

ART: Mosaic Butterflies– Children cut out butterfly pattern out of black paper. Cut out a few circles and ovals out of each side in symmetry. Then cut tissue paper squares to fit over the ovals and circles. Then  glue metallic mosaic tiles on the wings surrounding the circles. Put a ball headed clothes pin you have painted a bright color and pin in the middle and glue. Put black sharpie or wiggly eyes on and bright colored pipe cleaner antennae on top (wrapped around the ball head “neck” of the clothes pin.


 Another idea is to use Karo syrup and food coloring and make designs on a card stock butterfly. They take about 3 days to dry but they turn out beautiful! Back them with colored paper or black for a real dramatic effect! A teacher friend of mine does a cute trick when painting butterfly colors on large, white butterfly cut outs. She has the kids blob paint in about 5 places on the butterfly. Then she folds the butterfly in half and they smooth over it. Open it back up and both sides have a symmetry of paint blobs. It looks really striking on her bulletin board too! 

More Math:
Caterpillar Shake Up!  – Use an egg carton. Put numbers 1 – 9 in each “egg holder”. Place 2 chips in the carton and close it and shake. Whatever 2 numbers chips landed in write them down as a 2 digit number. Then add + 10, take away -10, add +5 and take away -2. This will give you 4 math problems for each of the double digit numbers. example 21 would be 31,  11, 26,  19.  Then we glued down circles with the double digit numbers written on each circle. Then we glued all the circles together forming caterpillars. Put 2 eyes and antennae on the last one and some legs on each circle. Here’s a picture of our finished math caterpillars! 

Roll dice twice…use both numbers to make a 2 digit number
Then add 10, subtract 10, add 5 and subtract 2 to make 4 new numbers…
color them the same color as the caterpillar’s circle color….
We put the math on the back…caterpillars on the front…super cute bulletin board!

We then put the Caterpillar Shake Up egg carton at a center with new rules. Just shake it, write down the 2 digit number you choose (ex. if you roll a 3 and a 4 you could make 43 or 34) Then Have a partner do his shake and he puts down a double digit number he creates. Then you both  add the 2 numbers together to get the total. Then go again taking turns.

I hope we get some better weather soon so those caterpillars really WILL come around! But in the meantime we just put some ants into our blue gel antfarm. We will see if they make tunnels this week and we will post a picture when they do!