My Very Hungry EFL Caterpillar

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The very hungry caterpillar is a must-read book for native English speaking children. This book has also some valuable features which make it a wonderful resource that can be used in the EFL class.

There are thousands of web pages and ideas out there and as in previous posts, I like to try to find the most inspiring ideas that can be used in the EFL class. The best thing is that these activities are not solely limited to EFL, but include math activities, literacy activities and even crafts. Some of these activities can be used in exactly the same way would be done with native kids of the same age while others have been adjusted due to the different amount of input and vocabulary between native English speakers and students of EFL.

Keep in mind that this lesson plan is only a suggestion, as every group is different in size, time available each week and so on. Feel free to pick and choose activities and create your own lesson plan.

 

Age

  • Very young learners. From 3 to 7 years old.

Aims

  • Get to know a popular story.
  • Enjoy listening to a story.
  • Act out the story. Participate.
  • Learn the main vocabulary of the story.

Vocabulary

  • Food items
  • Numbers
  • Days of the week
  • Colours

Resources

  • The very hungry caterpillar book (big book version is a bonus). Worksheets below. Shaped labels.

The story

You can find some suggestions of how to use stories by clicking the tab above. Lets start by watching a nice video of the tale.

Activities

If you are using this book at the beginning of the academic year or you haven’t yet prepared a mini office for your students, you can make one while doing these activities and continue to add parts such as colours, numbers and so on. The great thing about mini offices is that you can use them while dealing with this book and then use it as a reference tool throughout the rest of the year.

Incentive chart

Before starting the activities you might want to hang an incentive chart on a bulletin board. Depending on the group you might want to focus on different aspects such as: behaviour during the activity, finishing the activity in the time given or tidyness. You can print the following model or create your own one:

Incentive chart (www.makinglearningfun.com)

Maths

Worksheet 1: Trace the number

Make a copy for each child of the worksheet 1. Ask the children to trace the numbers. As they finish sit down with them individually or in small groups and repeat the numbers while pointing.

Note: This will be part of the mini office.

Worksheet 2: Stick circles and form a caterpillar.

Make a copy for each child of worksheet 2. Give them round shaped labels of the same or different colours. Ask students to stick as many circles as the number shows like in the example above.

Worksheet 3: Create a mini book.

Make a copy for each student of worksheet 3: number 1, number 2, number 3, number 4 and number 5. You can work on a number every day or focus on one every week (depending on the time available). Give children round shaped labels. Ask students to stick the labels on the number, raising awareness of the number shape. Then ask them to trace the number. Finally ask them to colour the fruit. Go around the tables asking students which number is which.

Resources:

worksheet 1

Worksheet 2

Worksheet 3: number 1, number 2, number 3, number 4, number 5.

Other worksheets

Here are some other worksheets you can practice with your students (from http://www.makinglearningfun.com)

Other resources


There is a wonderful teacher’s guide where you can find activities like this mini book. Have a look at the sample pages available on their web page: Teacher created resources

Colours

Worksheet 1 and 2: Make a very colourful caterpillar.

Note: It would be ideal to read books about colours such as Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? before this lesson so that students are already familiar with colours.

Make a copy for each child of worksheet 1 and/or worksheet 2. Worksheet 1 consists on colouring the circles, cutting them and sticking them on another piece of paper (little children might not have yet acquired the ability to cut on their own). Worksheet 2 is easier and only requires them to colour the circle following the colour names.

Note: This will be part of the mini office.

Resources:

Worksheet 1

Worksheet 2

Days of the week

Prepare some flashcards with the name of the days of the week, the food items and the numbers from 1 to 5. In this activity we will use a pocket chart.

Hang the pocket chart low enough so that children can easily reach the strips but high enough so that everybody can see the result. Ask students about the story: On Monday, the hungry caterpillar ate… Place Monday on the pocket chart while talking and elicit the number and the food item, then place them. You can demonstrate another or if you see some children are getting the idea, or you have used the pocket chart before and students are familiar with it, just call a child and have him or her place the flashcards in order as in the picture.

Some beautiful flashcards are (from http://www.makinglearningfun.com)

Sunday

Monday-Tuesday

Wednesday-Thursday

Friday-Saturday

Alphabet

Worksheet 1: Make an alphabet caterpillar.

Make a copy of worksheet 1 for each student. Use alphabet charts, magnets, sand boxes and so on to demonstrate the letters of the alphabet. Older students might already be familiar with them whereas first-years might need to work on it throughout the year.

Note: This will be part of the mini office.

Resources:

Worksheet 1

Food items

Worksheet 1: Spelling

Make a copy of worksheet 1 for each student. Ask the students to cut it into four squares. Following the look, say, cover, write and check technique, tell students to practice the spelling of each word by folding the name bellow as in the picture.

Worksheet 2: Words and letters

Make a copy of worksheet 2 for each student. Show them the difference between a letter (show a magnet letter) and a word (show a flashcard). Ask them to colour green the circles with a word and blue the circles with a letter.

Resources:

Worksheet 1

Worksheet 2

Mini Office

We are ready now to make our mini office. Ask students to cut or help them cut the worksheet with the colours, the numbers, the days of the week, the fruits flashcards and the alphabet. Stick them on the mini office as you wish and it will be ready to use.

As this book has been so popular for years with both kids and teachers, there are loads of games associated with the story available, from card games to puzzles. This is truly and oldy but a goody, years of teacher experience around the world has built up a treasure chest of ideas. I hope this brief collection of activities can as useful in your classes as they are in mine.

Useful web pages:

Making learning fun

Eric Carle’s web page

Teaching heart

DLTK

First school

The virtual vine

3 thoughts on “My Very Hungry EFL Caterpillar

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