Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Reading and Learning Activities

Google, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Learning Activities,” and you’re sure to find a lot of different activities. When I was an English as a Second Language instructor, I actually taught this book to my students because of the simplicity of the words and the many opportunities for learning the English language. My students loved the book, its pictures, and were able to pick up a few new vocabulary words. Here are some of the activities I’ve used as well as some good ones I found on the web. Because children mature at different ages, I'm not going to give recommended ages for each activity. You know your child best, so try what you think will work. Most of all, HAVE FUN!

Days of the Week: The caterpillar pops out of his egg on Sunday and builds a cocoon the following Sunday. Use this book to introduce or reinforce the days of the week to them. You can do things like list the days in order, ask your child to tell you what the caterpillar ate on a certain day, or have your child repeat the pronunciation of each day of the week. For beginning readers, break the words into syllables and have your child sound each one out. It could also be a good time to introduce them to the “th” sound since you’re covering Thursday. Wednesday will probably confuse them, so explain that the first “d” is silent. If they’re more advanced readers, you may want to introduce other silent letters.

Colors: The illustrations in the book are very colorful, so go through the book, asking your child to name the colors you see on the page. For older kids who are learning how to read, ask them to spell the names of the colors.

Food: Have them name the foods they see on the page. If they know the different food groups, have them classify the different foods.

Numbers and Counting: Count all of the food. Point to the numbers on the page. Ask questions like, "How many strawberries did the caterpillar eat?"

Metamorphosis: Talk about the life cycles of the butterfly. Have your budding artists draw the different stages on a piece of construction paper drawn into fours.

What have you tried?

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