Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is a terrific book to use for a Springtime theme. Here are some of the language development concepts I have pulled out of this book:
  • Sequencing events: first, second, third, next, last...
  • Counting 1-5
  • Learning days of the week
  • Life cycle of the butterfly: Get a butterfly house, find or buy some caterpillars and watch the life cycle as they grow
  • Concept "through": I made large versions of the fruits in the story and cut a hole in the middle of each one.  I use a plastic caterpillar and have the children pass it through the hole along with the story.  A fun follow up activity is to play with a fabric tunnel and crawl through it.
  • Basic sentence structures: It eats..., it is eating...,  it ate..., he/she, etc.
  • Food groups: Fruits, Sweets, etc.
  • Articulation: multi-syllabic words, medial sounds, any target when using an appropriate carrier phrase.
  • Expressive Language: Retell the story with props such as plastic caterpillar, butterfly, or felt board pieces.  A good activity would be to use some of the printables available online to make a take home book for the children.
  • Arts & Craft activities are unlimited. Check a few of my links below or simply Google a few.
  • Snack ideas:  Make caterpillar shaped foods.  Pinterest is a good source for these.  Children with ASD are especially picky eaters and this might be a good time to attempt to have them pretend to be the caterpillar and nibble on the foods in the story.
There are tons of online resources.  Here are a few that I have "mined".
Pinterest has a wealth of treasures for this book as well.  Just go to the search bar and type in "very hungry caterpillar" and tons of great activities will appear.

One of the best activities we ever did (think I will do it again this year) is to actually raise some caterpillars until they become butterflies.  I purchased a net house like this:

More info on ordering and raising caterpillars can be found here:
and here:

Here is a great video of the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly

It is always fun to follow up a story with other theme related books, fiction and nonfiction.

And, if seasonal, why not take a little walk outside to see if you can find a caterpillar or a butterfly in your yard.

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