Literacy Activities for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

Updated February 21, 2017

The story "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle tells the story of a caterpillar that eats a variety of foods before becoming a butterfly. The book teaches young children about counting, food and nutrition and the metamorphosis caterpillars undergo to become a butterfly. As you read to students, encourage them to read along, using the colourful pictures as clues to tell the story.

Story Sequencing

Prepare a sequencing activity for your students based on "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." Draw the different foods the caterpillar eats in the book on plain index cards; for example, on the first index card, draw one apple, on the second draw two pears, and so on. Next, shuffle the cards and then ask students to put the foods in the order they occur in the story. To extend this activity, use these cards to teach your students how to count.

Favourite Foods

In the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," the caterpillar eats a variety of foods, from a single leaf to ice cream, pickles, apples and cheese. Help your students write about their favourite foods by making their own book. Give each student seven pieces of paper. Help students label each page with a day of the week, from Monday to Sunday. Next, ask students to draw a food they would like to eat for each day. Give each student an additional sheet of paper to decorate; use this page as the cover of the book. Bind the books by stapling or punch holes on the left side of each page and tie together with yarn. Give students time to present their books to the class.

Healthy Foods

The caterpillar in "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" eats a variety of foods, from fruits to ice cream. Some of the foods are healthy foods, while other foods the caterpillar eats are treats that give him a stomach ache. Talk to your students about which foods in the book are healthy foods, and which foods should be occasional treats. Ask students to think of other foods that are healthy.

Letter Sounds

Teach students about letter sounds with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." Show pictures of each food featured in the story, and ask students to note the letter sound each food starts with; for example, the word "pear" begins with the letter "p," which makes the sound "puh." Ask students to think of other foods that begin with the same sound, such as pineapple, peanut and pizza. Help students draw pictures of different foods and practice writing the corresponding letter.

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About the Author

Based in the southeastern United States, Annabelle Brown began writing in 2000. She specializes in health, nutrition, education and pets. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Tech and is pursuing a Master of Science in English from Radford University and a Master of Education at Wright State University.