The Very Hungry Caterpillar

If you are a book addict like I am, you know the thrill of finding an amazing book.

“The very hungry caterpillar” was love at first sight for me and with this book began the journey of discovering my favorite children’s author, Eric Carle.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

If you are looking for books to read to your English class and you haven’t met him, don’t waste any more time and go find a book of his.

Each and every one of his books are amazing: The illustrations, the simplicity of writing, the endless possibilities to interest kids in vocabulary through a story, the teaching possibilities and more; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar has all of these traits packaged into one beautiful book.

The story is the journey of a caterpillar, from tiny egg to breathtaking butterfly, which incidentally is VERY hungry, so much that it ends up eating a week’s worth of food before going through its amazing transformation. With this book you can play, teach and review days of the week, colors, food, numbers, adjectives and, of course, the life cycle of a caterpillar.

The very hungry caterpillar story

But the thing I love the most is that my kids get to enjoy reading aloud with me:

Going “munch, munch, munch” with every bite, intervening whenever I ‘forget’ what day of the week goes next, helping me count plums, strawberries and apples and even predicting what will happen when he finally pops out of the cocoon.

To help along with the storytelling I made my own Very Hungry Caterpillar as a prop so the kids could enjoy reenacting the story and playing with it.

Play dough Caterpillar

I used Styrofoam balls, pipe cleaners and play dough.

The spikes on top are actually the bristles of an old toothbrush with a dab of paint.

Since I ran a pipe cleaner through the Styrofoam, the caterpillar remained flexible enough that the kids could make it move.

My hungry caterpillar

The children can actually make their own versions of caterpillars with a piece of egg carton, wiggly eyes or pom poms and pipe cleaners.

Caterpillar Craft

Caterpillar craft

After reviewing vocabulary and reenacting the story, my class of 4-year-olds made a collaborative mural with drawings of the sequence of the story. I loved it!

Very Hungry Caterpillar Mural

Very Hungry Caterpillar Picnic

So all in all, it’s a great book, full of possibilities. For more ideas, resources and downloads you can visit the official web page  and if you have older students you should also check out this video of Eric Carle’s creating process.

It’s amazing! He actually creates all the illustrations through collage, so it’s a good way to get your students interested in that art form or to engage them as storytellers and illustrators themselves.

I hope you and your kids enjoy this book as much as I do.

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