Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hungry Caterpillar Lesson Plan

One of my favorite inspirations for lesson plans is Kate's book collection. We had such a successful lesson with Bee-Bim Bop that I wanted to find a way to extend another book into real life for her. Whether teaching high school students or my own daughter, I always always enact a lesson plan and then immediately think of ways it could have been improved. Not only are there ways in which I could have "tightened up" this lesson, but also I know there are many possibilities for further extension of its basic ideas for an older child. So I may just get a chance to repeat it and refine it in a few years. Nonetheless, I want to report what we did:

The inspiration for my lesson plan today was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Kate has loved this book for awhile; indeed, it was an early favorite and one to which she responded verbally, quoting the "pop!" when he bursts out of his egg initially (as a baby caterpillar) and also laughing when he became fat from eating so much.

To begin, I used a cut-up egg carton. The indentations for the eggs look just like a caterpillar's humps when you turn them over. I also pre-painted it green with a non-washable paint. It dried overnight and was ready for us today.

Kate sorted through our pipecleaner collection and chose a sparkly red one for the antennae.

She chose pom-poms and sequins for decorating his body. I had her guide my hand, which held the glue, to the spots she wanted to put glue dabs. Then she would press on the caterpillar's decorations. We also glued on some googly eyes and made a smile together with a marker.

We took him outside and he crawled up trees, hid in our fort, and ate leaves. The blue pipe-cleaner around his set of antennae is a "headband." Kate wanted to give him accessories, all her own idea.

Since we are working on counting (Kate can count up to ten now), as well as sorting, I decided to take Kate on a leaf hunt around the yard. How many different leaves could we find for the caterpillar to eat? She picked them and we collected them in a bucket.

As we sorted the leaves, Kate gave her caterpillar a kiss. She was also pretending to be "Katiepillar." Note her pipe-cleaner headband.

Caterpillar and Katiepillar.

Here is another close-up of our finished product.

Our collection of leaves. We counted them and sorted them by color, shape, size, and texture. We might review this part of the lesson again tomorrow, because there really is so much a person can do with a leaf collection. Perhaps we will find a way to preserve them... Hmm, I sense another craft coming on!