Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of the children's books that I frequently use for my English classes with kids who learn English as a foreign language. The book is short and simple enough to read with elementary school students. Educators and parents read the story of the very hungry caterpillar with preschoolers and even toddlers in English speaking countries. However, since I teach English to children who are just starting to learn English, I mostly use the book for my classes with 1st graders. And I have designed some printable activities, worksheets, flashcards, and a poster to get the maximum out of the book as an EFL teacher. So I'd like to share some of the visually enhanced activities I use along with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" book to teach English to children.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities - printable worksheets
The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities kit includes 14 printable worksheets with small cut-out cards for the tasks, 28 colorful flashcards and a poster.

Reading and Phonics

Although the story about the very hungry caterpillar is quite short, there are a bunch of words that can be tricky for EFL students. That's why we pay special attention to learning how to read these words correctly and how certain combinations of letters form diphthongs and digraphs. A few printable worksheets help me with this.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book for English learning
The book has a lot of tricky words that kids have to learn how to read correctly.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar worksheet to learn English phonics
The worksheet that focuses on combination of letters that form diphthongs and digraphs.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar worksheet to learn English sounds
This matching worksheet helps students figure out English phonics.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar book has a lot of frequently used words that kids can learn and memorize. Such as the food vocabulary, days of the week, numbers, nature vocabulary. I offer students a few activities designed to help them memorize the vocabulary. The activities include matching and sorting tasks, a crossword puzzle, and a word search puzzle. I also use 28 colorful flashcards to introduce some nouns from the book. I use the flashcards not only as a tool to visualize the vocabulary and thus help kids better memorize the words but also as material for all sorts of activities such as matching words to pictures.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities to learn English vocabulary
Picture to word matching activity.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar crossword
Crosswords are a great help for memorizing vocabulary and word spelling.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar word search puzzle
Word search puzzles help memorize words too.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity to learn English numbers
This matching activity helps kids learn English numbers up to 5.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar printable flashcards for elementary school and kindergarten
Visually appealing flashcards help students learn 28 English nouns featured in The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.

Some worksheets help me introduce relevant vocabulary which is not in the book. For instance, English names of colors and categories of food.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities to learn English colors
This sorting activity help children learn colors in English.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity to learn types of food.
This sorting activity helps kids learn about different kids of food.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar cut-out cards - fruits, vegetables, food
Cut-out cards are used for some printable worksheets. 

Reading Comprehension and Discussion

There are reading comprehension activities based on the story. They help determine how well kids understood and remembered what they had read.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar reading comprehension activity
A reading comprehension activity based on the very hungry caterpillar story.

Sometimes, after reading the book, we talk about things like healthy and unhealthy food and the life cycle of a caterpillar. A worksheet and a poster help me make the discussion more fun and visually enhanced.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar healthy and unhealthy food worksheet
Healthy and unhealthy food sorting worksheet.

Caterpillar life cycle poster
Printable caterpillar life cycle poster printed on an A1 paper sheet (594 × 841 mm, 23.4 × 33.1 inches).

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