The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This popular book is great for talking to children about ‘how many in all’ (cardinality) and comparing numbers. After you have read the book to the whole group, have book discussions in small groups. Ask the children questions such as “How many apples did he eat through? Pears? Plums? Strawberries?” See if they can name the total number rather than recount each time. Also notice if they are subitizing or counting one by one. Give the children practice comparing numbers by holding the book open to the pages that are cut out for each fruit. Ask children questions such as, “How many more pears did he eat than apples? How many more oranges than strawberries? How many more oranges than apples?” IMG_6081

Math extensions
Compare the number of pieces of fruit the caterpillar ate through using the language more than and less than. Compare how many more or how many less.
Notice if children are able to subitize the pieces of fruit in the book or have to count them one by one.

Science extensions
Butterfly life cycle.
Healthy food.

Pattern and art extensions
Using lacing string (or pipe cleaners) and colored beads, have children string one red bead (apple), two green beads (pear), 3 purple beads (plum), 4 red beads (strawberries), and 5 orange beads (oranges). Have the children retell the story using their beads. Point out the growing pattern, one more bead in each segment.
Draw a Caterpillar and have him have an ABAB (or other) pattern.
Symmetry painting half a butterfly and folding him to make their other half.

Literacy extensions
Retell the story using a felt board with felt pieces of fruit and a felt caterpillar.