The Flowers are growing, the birds are singing and Spring is in the air. Each year come Spring I would love to share one of my favorite books with my students. My first graders loved to hear the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, they loved listening and picturing all of the scrumptious food he ate as the story progressed. What better way to introduce budding little scientist to lifecycles than through this classic story.
This has quickly become my daughters favorite book to read as well, she loves the artwork and vibrant colors and enjoys finishing the story each time we read it....and he turns into a beautiful butterfly!
There are several different ways you can incorporate a little learning into this story, one of my favorite activities is making a Hungry Caterpillar necklace. This activity helps little ones with their fine motor skills, patterning, sequencing and most importantly helps to develop their reading comprehension.
Materials for necklace
Hungry Caterpillar Color sheet
Yarn or string
dyed penne pasta*
(*mix a squirt or two of hand sanitizer, food coloring and uncooked pasta in a ziploc bag, shake to add color spread onto wax paper to dry for about an hour or so)
Kaitlyn and I reread the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, she helped me with the counting, we reviewed the days of the week. And we talked about the colors we saw in the story. When we were all done I gave her the Caterpillar coloring page, found above. I showed her how to stay in the lines and focus on coloring. At one point I was talking to her and she said.."Shh! mommy I am trying to focus on my colors!" Gotta love her :) So she matched each color up to the color in the book before she started coloring on her paper. When she was all done I cut them all out.. also put a small hole punch in each little piece of food and two on the caterpillar. Next we tied her string to the end of a small bucket so her pieces wouldn't fall off. We added one piece of colored pasta and then 1 piece of food from the story (we worked backwords starting with the slice of watermelon and eventually ending at the apple) We followed a pattern when adding the noodles, going through each color. the food pieces were to delicate for her to put on so I did those and she did most of the pasta....she worked hard using her fine motor skills to thread each piece onto her pasta, there were quite a few so I helped in between so she wouldn't get burned out. When we finally added all of the food we put the caterpillar on last. Now we were all done with her Very Hungry Caterpillar Story necklace! She could now use the necklace to retell the entire story of The Hungry Caterpillar! Having your child retell a story or simply answer questions as you read with them helps them to begin to understand the basic principles of learning how to read. These are all very valuable skills your little ones will need when they begin to read.
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