Creating Collage

In the light of the moon a lit­tle egg lay on a leaf.”

Eric Car­le, The Very Hun­gry Caterpillar

Very Hungry CaterpillarRecent­ly, 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:

  1. First, either search for images of the food the cater­pil­lar eats or draw them.
  2. Sec­ond, cut a hole in the cen­ter of each food big enough to fit either a wood­en craft stick puppet.
  3. Third, search for an image of a cater­pil­lar or draw one and tape it to the wood­en craft stick.
  4. 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. 


  1. On a table(es) pro­vide glue, crayons, mark­ers, and/or col­or pencils
  2. Put three bowls on the table with the items that you choose (see exam­ple list above)
  3. Pro­vide each child a sheet of con­struc­tion paper for them to glue items down.
  4. At the end of this activ­i­ty, encour­age chil­dren to share their design.

Web­sites on all things Eric Car­le and Hun­gry Caterpillar 

  1. Eric Car­le Museum
  2. The Offi­cial Eric Car­le Web Site
  3. Hun­gry Cater­pil­lar Activities
  4. Anoth­er great site on Hun­gry Cater­pil­lar Activities
  5. Eric Car­le Interview

Arti­cles on the Impor­tance of Col­lage for Learning

  1. Scholas­tic arti­cle on Col­lage Mapping
  2. Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion for Young Chil­dren (NAEYC) arti­cle on Art Expe­ri­ences
  3. Mate­ri­als Mat­ter in Children’s Cre­ative Learning

Pic­ture Books Fea­tur­ing Collage

Six books on collage

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