Today I asked the children to retell The Very Hungry Caterpillar using props on the whiteboard. We had days of the week labels and next to each day we put the foods that the caterpillar ate. The children are showing a good understanding of the story now and are able to repeat the story succinctly.
Following the retell we talked about what a cycle is and that it is like a circle. I asked the children to remember back to the beginning of the story and what the caterpillar started out as. They said it started as an egg and then hatched into a caterpillar. I told the children that that was the larva stage and when the caterpillar goes into the cocoon that it’s called a pupa. The adult caterpillar is a butterfly.
We went to the activity tables and used a paper plate to make a butterfly life cycle. We cut out two leaf shapes and used tiny foam balls as eggs. We wrapped a pipecleaner around a pencil to make the caterpillar. We drew a cocoon onto brown card and cut it out. The butterfly was a piece of tissue paper with a second pipecleaner wrapped around it.
Earlier in the week we had watched Eric Carle’s 40th anniversary talk on YouTube. In the short video he showed how he used tissue paper to make the caterpillar in his story. We used tissue paper to create some of our own caterpillars in a similar style.
We added a red head first and drew on facial features and antennae. Then we glued on two different shades of green circles to form the caterpillar’s body. We added legs to the base and hairs on top to make our caterpillars fuzzy. They came up a treat, each with their on individual characteristics. We put them on display with the paper chain caterpillars we made earlier in the week.
At the end of the day we used some cards I had made up to once again retell the story. I made these cards by doing a colour photocopy of the pages of the book and then gluing them to black card. They are backed with Velcro so they will stick to the felt boards. The children enjoyed a new way of showing that they knew the story well.