The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Sample Shared Reading Experience
Sponsored by US Embassy Tbilisi, Georgia March 19-23, 2012
Helena Curtain, Ph. D. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Electronic Version is available on Helena’s wiki
(Note: These procedures are spread out over time according with some of the activities being
performed each day.)
• 3 books, one to read and two (paperback) to cut up (You need two books to cut up so that you
can use the pictures on each side of the page.) For reading you can use the “big book”version or
a version with large print for the whole class to see.
• Vocabulary Pictures Posted Around the Room (Large enough for all to see) (8" x 10" size
pictures) apple, pear, orange, strawberry, plum, sun, moon, leaf (other possibilities, egg, and
foods that the caterpillar ate on Saturday)
• Pictures of each of the events in the story (Use cut-up book pages and mount on heavy paper.
• Text to go along with the pictures of about ten major events in the story. (Done on the
computer, large 36 pt.) Mount on heavy paper..
• Hungry Caterpillar puppet, plastic caterpillar or picture of real caterpillar
• Bag or box in which to hide the caterpillar puppet or plastic replica
• Make a set of small pictures exactly the same as the larger ones and put them in an envelope
for each person. Ask the class to get out of the envelope and hold up for you to see, the picture
of the events you describe, for example, "Hold up the picture of the apple." . "Hold up the
picture of the foods which gave the caterpillar a stomach ache." This is another way to check
comprehension of the story. This would be done immediately after the story is read. (optional)
Before the Story
• Have students point to various pictures on the walls, or have students touch or pick up actual
• Give each student a manipulative (paper or a plastic replica) of the things from the story. Ask
them to hold up the manipulatives as you call them out. Or ask them to stand up if they are
holding the manipulative you are calling out. Later on as you read the story, ask the students to
hold up their manipulative as that manipulative is mentioned in the story.
• Put a plastic caterpillar or caterpillar toy in a bag or box and have students guess what you have
in a bag. Begin reading the story after someone guesses correctly. If it takes too long, you can
take the item out of the bag.
• Read the story, acting out and embellishing various parts to increase understanding.
After the Story
• Make a graph of food items the caterpillar made on each day. Put days of the week across the
bottom of the graph and then make a bar graph with the pictures of what was eaten on that day.
Repeat text from the story as the students are putting the items on the graph for the correct day.
• Read the story again
• Show pictures (out of sequence) of the events in the story. As you show each picture motion
for someone to come to get that picture and take it back to their place.
• After all the pictures have been passed out, ask which picture represents the first thing that
happened in the story, show number one with a finger gesture. Have the person holding that
first picture go to the front of the room holding up the picture for everyone to see.
• Do the same with the second picture and so on until all the persons with pictures are standing
in the correct order of the story in the front of the room.
• Next show (out of sequence) the text posters for the "class" to read silently. As you show each
one, ask if anyone can match the text to the corresponding picture. Ask the persons who
volunteer to do this to stand behind the person holding the picture and hold the text above their
heads. (If it is a small group, ask the "class" to identify which picture goes with the text and
then give the text to the person holding the picture. Ask that person to hold up both the text
and the picture at the same time.
• Review with the class each picture and text.
• Continue to read the story several times. Retell the story using manipulatives or pictures only.
Have students begin to tell the story.
• Give the students the story text on strips of paper and have them put the text in the correct
order in partners, groups or individually. (This can also be done with story pictures.)
• Have the students illustrate and write their own hungry caterpillar story to take home and share
with their parents. Have parents and others sign an interactive homework form indicating that
they have heard the student reading the story.
• Choose possible follow-up activities such as: Writing another Hungry Caterpillar Story using
the same language patterns, but having the caterpillar eat different foods or writing a story
replacing the caterpillar with another animal eating different foods (possibly culture specific)
Have students illustrate the story and write short captions using sentences you have generated.
• Other Follow-up Activities: True-False, Fill-in-the-Blank, Cloze, Song related to the Story,
Poems such as ABC Poem, Bio Poem,
Hungry Caterpillar Student