UNIT TITLE: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Author: Kimberly Cajka-Schmit
E-Mail Address:
School: Dearborn Heights & Columbus Manor: Oak Lawn, IL 60453
School Home Page URL: (optional)

THEME:  The Very Hungry Caterpillar

BROAD CONCEPT:  Determination, Perseverance, and Caring towards themselves and others

GRADES: Preschool

INTEGRATED SUBJECTS: Math, Language Arts, Reading, Art, Computers, Nutrition, and Technology


The goal of this unit is to create a positive awareness of the basic characteristics the caterpillar displayed and to develop a desire in the children so that they will want to incorporate these characteristics into their daily lives.  Students will also gain an understanding of determination, perseverance, caring, and self-discipline through stories and through interacting with the teacher.

Through this unit, the students will also gain knowledge and learn about the life cycle of a butterfly.  They will also realize that there's more to caterpillars than just butterflies.  The students will be using technology to explore and investigate on the web (teacher assisted), collect and organize data.  The students will be using many different forms of technology to learn as well as graphic organizers to collect and organize their data.  As the learning continues, the students will learn how to graph, use a digital camera, search on the web, use Kid Pix, and Microsoft word.  Students will be adding daily activities/ assignments to their portfolio, until the end of the unit.  Many of the activities will be displayed in class.  Their portfolios as well as my classroom observations will be used as an evaluation tool in order to evaluate their understanding of the concepts taught during this unit.  The assessment for this unit will be ongoing and performance based.

The teacher will address the needs and interests of all his/her students and will promote cooperative group learning.   


TIME FRAME: 2-3 weeks


In this lesson, students will:

understand what determination means

identify the details of the story and sequence the events

understand the life cycle of a caterpillar

use KidPix with success and help


At the end of this unit the students will be able to:

cite examples of perseverance, caring, and self-discipline in the characters studied in literature

exhibit acts of courage, kindness, perseverance, etc., in and out of the classroom



Fruit (apples, pears, plums, strawberries, and oranges)

Construction Paper (different colors)



Paper Plates

Mixing Bowl

Large Spoon



Insect Lore – Butterfly House and caterpillars

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle



Color Printer


        Digital Camera

        Computer Presentation Projector


Spreadsheet Excel, The Graph Club, PowerPoint


Word Processing Microsoft Word

Database Microsoft Works




1.A.1b Comprehend unfamiliar words using context clues and prior knowledge; verify meanings with resource materials.

1.B.1a Establish purposes for reading, make predictions, connect important ideas, and link text to previous experiences and knowledge.

1.B.1c Continuously check and clarify for understanding (e.g., reread, read ahead, use visual and context clues, ask questions, retell, use meaningful substitutions).

1.B.1d Read age-appropriate material aloud with fluency and accuracy.

1.C.1a Use information to form questions and verify predictions.

1.C.1b Identify important themes and topics.

1.C.1d Summarize content of reading material using text organization (e.g., story, sequence).

1.C.1e Identify how authors and illustrators express their ideas in text and graphics (e.g., dialogue, conflict, shape, color, characters).

1.C.1f Use information presented in simple tables, maps and charts to form an interpretation.


2.B.1c Relate character, setting and plot to real-life situations.


3.C.1b Create media compositions or productions, which convey meaning visually for a variety of purposes.

Listening and Speaking  

4.A.1b Ask questions and respond to questions from the teacher and from group members to improve comprehension.

4.A.1c Follow oral instructions accurately.

4.A.1d Use visually oriented and auditorily based media.

B. Analyze and evaluate information acquired from various sources.

4.B.1a Present brief oral reports, using language and vocabulary appropriate to the message and audience (e.g., show and tell).

4.B.1b Participate in discussions around a common topic.

A. Locate, organize, and use information from various sources to answer questions, solve problems and communicate ideas

5.A.1a Identify questions and gather information.

5.A.1b Locate information using a variety of resources.

5.B.1a Select and organize information from various sources for a specific purpose.


6.A.1a Identify whole numbers and compare them using the symbols <, >, or = and the words "less than", "greater than", or "equal to", applying counting, grouping and place value concepts.

6.C.1a Select and perform computational procedures to solve problems with whole numbers.

6.D.1 Compare the numbers of objects in group


11.A.1a Describe an observed event.

11.A.1b Develop questions on scientific topics.

11.A.1d Record and store data using available technologies.

11.A.1e Arrange data into logical patterns and describe the patterns.

11.A.1f Compare observations of individual and group results.

11.B.1a Given a simple design problem, formulate possible solutions.

11.B.1b Design a device that will be useful in solving the problem.

11.B.1c Build the device using the materials and tools provided.

11.B.1d Test the device and record results using given instruments, techniques and measurement methods.

Physical development and growth

24.A.1a Differentiate between positive and negative behaviors (e.g., waiting your turn vs. pushing in line, honesty vs. lying).

24.A.1b Identify positive verbal and nonverbal communication skills (e.g., body language, manners, listening)


Language of the Arts   

26.B.1d Visual Arts: Demonstrate knowledge and skills to create visual works of art using manipulation, eye-hand coordination, building and imagination.


Social Systems

Understand the roles and interactions of individuals and groups in society.

18.B.1a Compare the roles of individuals’ in-group situations (e.g., student, committee member, employee/employer).

18.B.1b Identify major social institutions in the community.






caterpillar food


Activity #1

Technology-Language Arts-Art

This lesson will be the introduction to the unit.  In Lesson 1, the students will listen to the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.  The teacher will lead a large group discussion about the story. Following the story, the class will engage in language arts and comprehension activities to identify the character of the story, determine if this could really happen, and sequence the events of the story.  The students will also be asked about the illustrations in the book.  Large group instruction will be used and all students will be involved in the discussion. The broad concept will be introduced at this time.  Comparisons between the story and real events in the students’ life will be explored.  The student will use KidPix Deluxe to draw a picture of their favorite food from the story.  This will be printed out and put into their portfolio.  There would need to be a 6th grade helper or a parent volunteer for every preschool child.


Activity #2:

Technology-Language Arts-Math

The students will help the teacher identify each of the foods that the caterpillar ate.  Using clip art from the Internet or Microsoft Works, the teacher will then add the picture to the top of the graph underneath the food word.  The teacher will then let the children taste each of the foods the caterpillar ate.  The students will then tell the teacher which food they liked best and the teacher will enter their name on the Excel graph under the food item they picked.  The teacher will guide the students into a discussion to read and analyze the graph, which food was liked the most and which food was liked the least?


Activity #3:


The students will make a butterfly hat out of construction paper, they will be tracing the butterfly, cutting out the pattern and gluing the hat together, the teacher will assist with attaching it to the strip for their head.  They will then each take a digital picture of a fellow class member while they hold their favorite food the caterpillar ate and wear a butterfly hat that they made. 


Activity #4:


The individual pictures from activity #3 will then be downloaded onto the class/school website along with the Excel food graph from activity #2.


Activity #5:


The teacher will help the students follow the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Fruit Salad Recipe.  The children will help wash the fruit and will help count to make sure that the right amount of each fruit is going into the bowl.  Each child should also get to do at least one thing during the process.  While the students are waiting for their turn, the teacher will talk about each of the fruits.  The students will then be able to eat the fruit salad.  The teacher assistant will be taking pictures with the digital camera, so to can be put on the website.  The students will then be able to use the Internet (with a helper) to try and find each of the foods the caterpillar ate.  Once all the foods have been found the children will print them out.  Once printed out the children will cut them out and glue them onto a paper plate. 

Fruit Salad Recipe

            1 Apple      2 Pears     3 Plums     4 Strawberries      5 Oranges



Activity #6: 

Technology-Language Arts-Art-Nutrition

The teacher will read the online storybook Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes. to the class.  The teacher will ask the students what foods in the story were healthy and what foods were unhealthy snacks.  The teacher will give the students a piece of paper with the heading “Is It Healthy or Unhealthy?” on the top, there will be a line down the center with both words at the top.  Next to the word healthy there will be a smiley face and next to unhealthy there will be a sad face.  The students will use an assortment of magazines to find healthy and unhealthy foods to glue to their page.


Activity #7:

Technology-Art-Language Arts

Using the information gathered from reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and from the class Internet search, the students will produce a picture using KidPix.  Students will be expected to draw a caterpillar and at least two pieces of food.  The students will be asked to tell about their caterpillar, the helper will type the sentence onto the page for the preschooler.


Activity #8


As a class we will work together to collect data, organize data, and develop conclusions on the data.  We will be looking at the different caterpillar pictures the children made using KidPix.  We will compare and contrast the pictures, using PowerPoint


Activity #9

Technology-Language Arts

The class will visit the Eric Carle Web Site.  The children will each be given a chance to click on the part of the website they would like to see; the results will be shown up on the computer presentation screen.   Each section will be read aloud to the class.  The class will read about the author.  After searching the Eric Carle website the class will brainstorm a list about the author as the teacher types, we’ll use Microsoft Word.


Activity #10

Technology-Language Arts

After visiting the Eric Carle website and reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the class will come up with a list of things they liked about he book and write a letter to the author.  The class will then go back to the website and visit the guest book and send their response to Eric Carle.  A copy of the letter sent will be placed in every child’s portfolio.


Activity #11


After reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the class will graph all the food the caterpillar ate.  The teacher will use The Graph Club.  When done with the graph the children will count up all the food the caterpillar ate during the week.  The children can also be asked questions like how much food did the caterpillar eat on Tuesday and Friday?


Activity #12


After reading and doing all the activities, the children will go to the computer lab where on every screen they will be given all the foods the caterpillar ate during the week.  Pictures of the food will be all over the screen and the children will have to move them around and put them in the correct order the caterpillar ate them in.  They will then print out the page when they are all done putting the pictures in the correct sequence.


Activity #13

Technology-Language Arts-Art

The teacher will use a computer to type out the sentence for the children’s book.  The teacher will use the font that looks like children’s writing.  The students will create a cover and a title page for a class book.  Each child will be given a piece of white construction paper with the same sentence at the bottom, "My hungry caterpillar ate _________." Each child will select a piece of food and a numeral to go along with the food and they will draw a picture of it.  This book will be taken home for parents to read, everyone in class will get a chance to take it home for the night.


Culminating Activity

The teacher will reread The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to the class.  The teacher will guide the students into a discussion about how the caterpillar showed determination, perseverance, and caring for themselves and others.  The students should come to the conclusion that the caterpillar showed determination, perseverance, and caring for himself and that they should try to use these qualities in preschool.  The class will then get caterpillars for their butterfly house and watch them over the next few weeks spin a cocoon and turn into a butterfly.  The teacher will use Microsoft Works to create a calendar so that a chart can be kept on it.  The chart will read as follows, on Day 1 the caterpillar…, Day 2 the caterpillar…, and so on until it turns into a butterfly.  Digital pictures will be taken daily as the children observe the cocoon.  Once the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, the children will use KidPix and draw a picture of a butterfly and the chart will be put on the website along with the rest of the graphs and information used in this unit.




The students will share their work with others by putting their work on display in the hallway cabinet or on the bulletin board.  The activities that the children did during this unit allowed the children to create an artifact that they can share to othersThese activities will all be placed in the student’s portfolio and will be given to them at the end of the unit, so that they are able to share their work with their family.  By using authentic assessment it allow students to show and share their information with others.  The rubric will be inside of the folder and each assignment will be graded as it's turned in.


This rubric will be used during the entire project.  Since this is a unit for preschool age children the rubric is very simple, the children will either receive a check mark under good or very good.  Each check under good earns the child 1 smile and every check under very good earns the child 2 smiles.


Name of Child__________


Very Good

Class Participation



Worked well with class members



Thinking Process



Creative Process




1-4 Smiles = The student performed satisfactory on this unit.


4-8 Smiles = The student met the expectations of the unit.




will act as a facilitator and guide for students

will provide opportunities for students to investigate, explore, set goals, and develop learning strategies.

will provide correlation between classroom activities and real-life situations.

will use product assessment in order to allow for student independence and creativity, and encourage higher order thinking skills.

will create a learning environment that is flexible and open to diversity and different perspective.

will provide many tools and resources for students

will guide by showing Kid Pix presentations and allowing children to make many choices on their own

will answer by redirecting the student to keep them on the right track without giving them the answer. 



will take responsibility for learning 

will apply previously learned information and skills

will take full advantage of the materials and technology provided

will actively participate in learning by exploring, investigating, and producing work

will be working by themselves or with a helper in order to complete work in this unit 

will be encouraged to help one another throughout the activities

will be an active participant in their learning

are responsible to stay on task

will form their own opinions, based on their learning





Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom Deluise

From Egg to Butterfly by Marlene Reidel

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward

Digging Up Dinosaurs by Aliki

Apple Batter by Deborah Turney Zagwyn

Big Thoughts For Little People by Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor

Please by Janine Amos

No, Thank You by Janine Amos





Title1: Eric Carle Teacher Resource Unit    




Description1: This site offers several lesson plan links for The Very Hungry Caterpillar as well as numerous other Eric Carle lesson link and titles of his work


Title2: The Official Eric Carle Web Site




Description2: This site features ideas to use in the classroom for all of Eric Carle’s books.  It also links you to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Art, his biography, and much more.


Title3:  Dole Food Company, Inc.




Description3:  This site has several resources for teaching dole 5 a day.  Teachers can order a free CD-Rom of the "5 a day Adventures" for each computer in their classroom or lab.  The activities on this CD promote eating 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.


Title4: Schools of California Online Resources for Educators (SCORE) Project




Description4: This unit, designed to supplement the teaching of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, consists of three Internet activities in which students explore the following three questions: Who is Eric Carle and where does he live? Where does he get the ideas for his books? How does he create his illustrations? It is a K-3 unit designed to be used after the students have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and while they are reading other Eric Carle books. The Internet activities are designed to be completed over several days by small groups.


Title5: Teacher Vision




Description5: This website gives a list of Books by Eric Carle, several Internet Resources and wonderful Enrichment Activities

Title6: Tribal fusion




Description6:  This website contains many links and many activities such as Very Hungry Caterpillar:
Felt Board Fun (or Puppets) and Very Hungry CaterpillarStory Sequencing


Title7:  Teacher Resources




Description7:  A great website for teachers.  One will find all the biography information, bibliographies and lesson plans on this page about Eric Carle and his works.  It was an awesome website.

 Ttile8: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sequencing activity




Description8: A lesson plan for sequencing the events of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


Title9: Everything Preschool




Description9:  There are several songs on this website that teachers could use while teaching this lesson. 



Title1:   The Very Hungry Caterpillar




Purpose of Use1:  This would be a good assessment to see if the children
        comprehended the book.


Description1: An interactive worksheet page about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  It asks the children 2questions and they click on the response if they are correct, praise is given to them.  It is very cute.





Purpose of Use2: Children are able to explore more about butterflies on their on and have fun while doing it.


Description2: This website has a lot to offer.  It contains clipart, games on-line and printable, books, screen savers, information on animals, printouts of butterflies, butterfly crafts, and even butterflies that you can send to your friends.


Title3:  Dole Food Company, Inc




Purpose of Use3:  This site contains fruits and vegetables the students can research.  The site focuses on nutrition and provides songs to share with students about staying healthy


Description3:  The student portion of this site features characters from the "Dole 5 a day" program.  There is a storybook, coloring pages, songs, a scramble puzzle, and a section where the kids can write to their favorite "5 a day" character.  There are also adventures for certain kinds of fruits and vegetables.


Title4: The Butterfly Site For Children


URL4: http:


Purpose of Use4: Children can explore on this site and look at different butterflies as well as enter contests to win butterfly homes.


Description4: - Visitors can explore the exciting world of butterflies by visiting The Butterfly Site's dozen butterfly topics, tons of butterfly links, contests, and awards. 

Title5: The Children’s Butterfly Site




Purpose of Use5: Children will enjoy looking at all the different and unusual
        pictures of butterflies


Description5: There are real life photos of butterflies, the life cycle of a butterfly, several activities to do with children, printable puzzles, and a list of suggested books.

Title6: Enchanted Learning




Purpose of Use6:  Children can learn on their own about caterpillars when   
        exploring on this site.


Description6:   Under caterpillar in the "Little Explorers" section there is an art activity children could do in the classroom or at home.  There are also several facts about a caterpillar.  The children are also able to print out three different sheets of a caterpillar for them to color.


Title7: Butterflies Love Kids




Purpose7:  This is a good website for primary –intermediate students.  They give good ideas about growing plants and show children how to make things i.e a butterfly net.


Description7:  This website gives a list of different plants kids can grow, has several different coloring pages, and show children how to make their own butterfly net.






Purpose8: Children can learn more about butterflies and caterpillars and have fun
        while they are learning.


Description8:  You can find all sorts of fun stuff on these pages and children can learn about butterflies and caterpillars while they play.  There are several different puzzles, games, activities, free downloads, and plenty of photos.  They even have a newsletter you can subscribe to for free.