I used the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a preschool storyhour, and wanted a way to engage the children, most of them had already heard and seen this story. I used colored posterboard to make story boards of each page in the book. I cut the posterboard into rectangles about 22 x 9 1/2 – I made these a long time ago, but I think I basically cut each posterboard in 1/3s. Making a project like this takes quite a bit of time, but I used it with my Kindergartners over and over again for many years.
I used construction paper and cut out the tree, leaf, moon and egg, then I rubber-cemented them onto the posterboard.
On the back of each posterboard I wrote the words from the story so I could hold up the picture and read the words.
Because these pictures were so big and it was a new way to hear the story, it really kept the children’s attention.
I cut a hole – using an exacto knife – through the apple and the posterboard.
I made a caterpillar from small red and green pompoms.
I stuck the pompoms onto a piece of magnet strip – using the sticky side of the magnet to hold the pompoms on. I have used this caterpillar for 20 years!! I just keep it in the file with the posterboards, it is a little flattened from all those years of storage!!
This looks quite big here, but it is only about 2 1/2 inches long. Then I took a rubber band and slipped it over the caterpillar between the red and first green pompom. If you don’t have a small rubberband twist it on a few times – leaving just enough room for your pointer finger to slip in under the caterpillar, on the magnet side.
Then you can poke the caterpillar through the hole in the apple, and pretend to munch, munch, munch all the way around the circle. The kids love it!!
If you don’t want to make a caterpillar, you could just draw eyes and a mouth on your pointer finger and use that.
One thing you have to remember is to poke your finger into the right hole so you are helping reinforce counting from left to right. I added sound effects like slurping, munching, gobbling, etc. as the caterpillar ate through the hole in each food.
When you are cutting out the strawberries and stems, I folded the paper and cut all 4 at once to make it faster, then I just tipped them a bit as I glued them onto the board.
Over the years we made lots of different projects to go along with this story. For preschoolers we wrapped a pipe cleaner around a pencil to make it coiled up and called it a caterpillar. Then we ‘decorated’ a brown paper lunch bag for the cocoon. We made a butterfly by pushing tissue paper into the legs of a slip on wooden clothespin. We put the butterfly inside the paper bag and as the children retold the story – they put the caterpillar into the bag, pretended he was nibbling his way out, and pulled out the butterfly.
In recent years I used this near the end of the year in Kindergarten and my children were ready to write phonetically, and reread some text. We made a book to retell the story.
This is a half page sized book.
The first letter of the day of the week was already printed on the page. The children also need to write the number word on some pages. I provided “helper sheets” for them to refer to if they needed help writing the days of the week or number words. You could cut these into strips of days/numbers if you’d like.
To make this book a little easier, the children drew the parts they would glue on first. Then the next day we made the books, they just bubble cut around their pictures and glued them on. Most children were pretty independent with this.
There were 2 on this page – each child got 1/2.
I put little picture cues to help them remember each food. The children could draw with crayons or markers. I didn’t leave a space for them to write their name – be sure they write their name on the back of their paper!
On this page they had to draw at least 3 things, and write the words phonetically.
They just had to color the cocoon or chrysalis, it was already printed on the page. I debated over the years over whether to keep using the word cocoon that was in the text, but I used this book with end-of-the-year kindergartners and we had been talking about how a butterfly comes from a chrysalis – so I used that term.
The children created a butterfly – practicing symmetry – but using a folded piece of paper and free cutting the wings, then decorating both sides the same – and glued it on.
Here are the masters for this book – there are 2 on each page so you can xerox, collate and just cut each book in half to make 2. Sorry about all the separate files – not sure how to put them all together! I am definitely not a techie person!
I hope you have as much fun with this as I have!