“In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.”
—Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Recently, I was watching a YouTube video of Eric Carle discussing his famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. View the Youtube video by following this link. It was fascinating to learn about his techniques and the history behind this classic children’s book. Towards the end of the interview, Carle explained that besides the story and the graphics, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a book of hope. As we move to the season of Spring, the lesson of hope from this book helped to inspire these activities:
Activity 1: An Interactive Reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This story is perfect for audience interaction. Before storytime, follow these steps to transform this storytime to an interactive format:
- First, either search for images of the food the caterpillar eats or draw them.
- Second, cut a hole in the center of each food big enough to fit either a wooden craft stick puppet.
- Third, search for an image of a caterpillar or draw one and tape it to the wooden craft stick.
- Forth, put the image cards in order of the foods the caterpillar eats.
Begin the storytime by telling the children that today you will need help telling the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Inform them that depending on the day of the week the amount of the food the caterpillar eats grows so each of them will get a turn. For each food item that the caterpillar eats you will hold the image of the food up while the children puts the caterpillar through the hole.
Activity 2: Caterpillar Collage
Eric Carle is famous for using the collage technique for this story. Collage is an excellent activity for kids to work on fine motor skills. For this activity, children will use the collage technique to add to the story. For this activity, you will need to have a selection of items for kids to choose from. These items do not need to be the same size, color, or shape. Examples of items include cupcake liners, cotton balls, shiny stickers, textured paper, and leaves. Remember, collage inspires children to be creative and their designs will be unique to them.
- On a table(es) provide glue, crayons, markers, and/or color pencils
- Put three bowls on the table with the items that you choose (see example list above)
- Provide each child a sheet of construction paper for them to glue items down.
- At the end of this activity, encourage children to share their design.
Websites on all things Eric Carle and Hungry Caterpillar
- Eric Carle Museum
- The Official Eric Carle Web Site
- Hungry Caterpillar Activities
- Another great site on Hungry Caterpillar Activities
- Eric Carle Interview
Articles on the Importance of Collage for Learning
- Scholastic article on Collage Mapping
- National Association for Young Children (NAEYC) article on Art Experiences
- Materials Matter in Children’s Creative Learning
Picture Books Featuring Collage