Carle, E. (1969). The Very Hungry Caterpillar. New York; Cleveland: The World
Publishing Company. Ages: Infant-Pre-K
Award: American Institute of Graphic Arts Award (1970)
Subject Area: Science; Math (Counting)
Genre: Picture Book
Summary: This is a story about the life cycle of a butterfly and the transitions that are made from an egg, to a very hungry caterpillar and ultimately into a beautiful butterfly. Throughout the book, the author shows us how much the caterpillar eats as we count our way through the days of the week and the foods that he eats. After eating his way through the week, the caterpillar forms himself a cocoon. On the final pages of the book, the caterpillar exits his cocoon and is revealed as a beautiful butterfly.
Themes/Topics: The life cycle of a butterfly; Counting; Days of the week
Initiating Questions and Activity:
- Questions: Who has seen a butterfly before? Has anyone ever seen a cocoon? Butterflies come in many different colors, what is the prettiest color butterfly you could imagine? What happens when you eat too much? Do you think this is what happened to the caterpillar?
- Activity: Discuss with the class the different stages of the life cycle (egg, caterpillar, butterfly). Show pictures of different types of butterflies and encourage the students to ask questions.
- Questions: What was your favorite part of the story? What was your favorite part of the butterflies life? Why do you think the caterpillar ate so much? Do you get bigger and stronger when you eat?
- Activity: The students will have the opportunity to create their own butterfly after the reading. We will use coffee filters by coloring them with markers and then spraying them with a little bit of water to make the colors run together. Each student can make their butterfly whatever color they would like. Then, the coffee filter is folded like an accordion and secured in the middle with a clothes pin to represent the body of the butterfly. Wire cleaners can be used as antennae. As the children perform this arts and crafts activity we will recap the book and answer the questions that I will present.