Saturday, 16 July 2011

Caterpillar Lapbook

I am going to share my Caterpillar Lapbook Unit.  I used 2 main books: Eric Carle's A Very Hungry Caterpillar and Max Lucado's Hermie the Common Caterpillar. I have to admit that I used alot from homeschool share. Most of my links will take you to a list of templates and you will have to select the one mentioned and then print it. I could not directly link as the site will not handle that type of 'hotlinking'. I compiled from a few different sources there and elsewhere and came up with what I thought was a good lapbook for grades pre-K to 1. You could probably use it for grade 2 as well with some tweaking.

The Bible Study
Hermie the Common Caterpillar
Read the story  and emphasize how God has a plan for us. What does that mean exactly? Well, maybe a future goal; you could use the example of a career here, like carpentry or medicine or motherhood. It could also mean a purpose in life; this suggests the reason or drive behind the career. Using the suggested careers, you could ask your child what God intended for them if they entered carpenty, medicine or motherhood and expect similar answers of helping mankind, spreading the gospel, using God given talents....
But what I would like to focus on is a way of life.

When we live with God in our hearts, He promises us that we will reap what we sow. That means that if we use kindness, we will recieve kindness back. Some people think that this is untrue, however, God's kindness is not necessarily based on human kindness. That is, He may show kindness to us differently than we expect. If we are kind and share with our sister, maybe she won't be kind back (at that particular moment), but she may show kindness later in some unexpected way or God may show us kindness by providing for one of our needs like hunger, or shelter. We need to teach our children that God's love is everywhere and we can see it if we are looking.

However, that being said, there is something more important to learn from this. When we show kindness, God will make that kindness grow in us and we will find it easier to be kind the next time. When little Susie shares with Jane and it is hard to give up a toy, we can cuddle Susie and let her know that it will get easier every time she shares until one day she will no longer notice that she is sharing because it is second nature. Our first nature is to think of ourselves and Jesus wants us to think of others.

John 13:34
I give you  a new commandment,
that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
you also should love one another.

Our biggest aim in life is to become more like Jesus and Hermie the Common Caterpillar really brings this home if you are looking. God says to Hermie every time "I want you to have a heart like Mine". Talk with you children about it over a couple of days while also introducing The Very Hungry Caterpillar. One thing my girls didn't understand was why God's rewards, answers and teachings were not immediate. I got them to act out being a seed (of God's love- a baby), and slowly growing into a little plant (a small child), sprouting leaves, reaching for the Son, growing taller into a sapling (a child) and to think of themselves at this stage. I told them that even young fruit trees like apple could bear fruit after a couple of years. We looked at all the fruit in the Eric Carle story and picked a type of tree we would like to be.

We grew through each stage again and then I said "What if you could grow all different fruits on your tree?" Wow! Imagine running through the orchard of life seeing all the trees bearing as many different fruits as you could imagine on every tree! Those are the fruits God promises us in

Galatians 5: 22-23a
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives,
He will produce this kind of fruit in us:
 love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

This is the bible verse we use. I type it up and then put it in an bible verse pocket for the lapbook. It is long and more difficult to remember than others we have had due to the list at the end. We established a sign for each of the things in the list.

An X across the heart with our arms for Love.
Drawing a smile on ourselves for Joy.
A V with our fingers for the Peace sign.
Tapping our wrist like a watch for Patience.
Shaking our hand for Kindness.
Pretending to give a big hug for Goodness.
Folding our hands in prayer for Faithfulness.
Rubbing down our arms like you are stroking a cat for Gentleness.
And lastly we stood like a soldier for Self Control.

If you spend enough time talking to your children about this, you may want to use both the verses listed. An older child or one with an aptitude for memorisation may want to use both as well. I have a lot of poetry included in this unit so we are just using the one.

Muffin Tin Monday

We started our caterpillar unit with a Muffin Tin Monday lunch. We read the story first while looking at all the things in the tin and relating them to the story. The girls were delighted.

"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf."
I used a lettuce leaf, a dab of Ranch dressing and a sunflower seed for the egg. No one even tried to eat this!

"out of the egg came a tiny... caterpillar. "
I made this by attaching 3 green grapes at a time to a toothpick and connecting them. The antennae are toothpicks and the eyes are whole cloves. Have your child remove these before eating. The one peice of apple is for the apple he ate through on Monday.

The rest of the fruit peices represent the number and types of fruits he ate throughout the rest of the week. I would probably cut these smaller next time as it was too much food for the preschoolers.

 There was a whole list of sweets and savouries the caterpillar ate on Saturday and I just stuck with the savoury. I used one peice of swiss cheese, part of a dill pickle and a peice of honey garlic pepperoni.

These little sausage rolls, held together by a toothpick again, were supposed to look like the cocoon. One of my daughters loved them and pretty much finished the whole tray!

"he was a beautiful butterfly!" I cut 3 of these out of one fruit by the foot. We don't usually have these in the house, but someone had given us a few and I kept them thinking they might come in handy someday, and they did. I rolled the body and the head, added toothpick antennae and set him on a spaghetti branch.

And here is a close up of the whole tray.


These are the books that we used for this unit. We love Terry and Caterpillars; it really demonstrated how easy and wonderful it is to watch the life cycle of a caterpillar. One book that I couldn't get a good link to was A Caterpillar Grows Up by Melvin and Gilda Berger.
I am sure there are many more wonderful books and stories out there, so please feel
free to share.



These are the dvd's that we found to correspond with the unit.

Unit Study

As I said earlier, I use Homeschoolshare quite a bit. They have a Very Hungry Caterpillar unit which is very good. I wanted a few things differently focused though and added a few more lapbook elements.

Literature/ Sequencing
     - Sequence cards, we use these after we read the story to make sure they understand the flow. You can discuss beginning, middle and end as well. These are the same cards we use to make the days of the week cascading booklet.
     - Colour and cut out story sequence aids  and  act out (drama). We used this after using the sequence cards a few times. It is a bit more difficult. We use these again in the nutrition section.
     - Muffin Tin Monday (see above)

Health/ Nutrition
     - What does a caterpillar eat?
          -Their egg and green plants, usually the leaves they have hatched upon. Put your findings in the leaf booklet.
     - What do we eat?
          - Canada Food Guide
          - Healthy choices game: using the peices from your dramatic production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, get your child to choose foods from the food groups for the day. What options are missing? Can they draw or find pictures in flyers to cut out and add to the pile. I made an envelope to hold these later as my girls were asked to sequence on more than one occassion.
     - Here are some links to Nutrition Songs we found pretty entertaining. You just have to go to Sesame Street and type these into the search engine. I tried direct links but they all took you to the search engine. Make sure you type in the title and the featured character. The list that shows up is in alphabetical order.
          - Cookie is a Sometimes Food featuring Cookie Monster
          - Healthy Food with Wyclef Jean
          - Eat Your Favourite Fruits with singing fruit, of course
          - You'll Eat A Rainbow with singing food too!

These are the games from Sesame Street that we liked:
          - Family Food Game with the Bear family
          - Grow Your Colours with Grover
          - Close Up Food with Elmo
We found more games at PBS kids:
          - Colour Me Hungry with Cookie Monster (this is the only non-direct link for this web site, just pan through to the second page)
          - Kitchen Magician with Sid the Science Kid
          - Mix It Up with Sid the Science Kid (this is the best for practicing food groups)
          - Freddy's Switcheroo with Fizzy's Lunch Lab (just for fun)

Science/ Habitat
     - Meaning - where an animal lives
          - an animal may not be able to survive if taken out of its habitat
          - what does a caterpillar need to survive? Read Terry and the Caterpillars. How did she keep the caterpillars alive? Paste a leaf in your house booklet and write down what you think a caterpillar needs to survive.
          - Make a habitat. Go on a caterpillar hunt with magnifying glasses and see what you can find in your own backyard. We were suprised by what we found. Many cocoons were surrounded  by a leaf that was tacked lightly together with silk. Sometimes they looked like a ball and other times like a skinny funnel. 

     - What do we, as humans, need to survive? Are we the same as a caterpillar? We both need food, air, water and shelter. Is there anything else? What makes us different?

Literature/ Phonics
     - the letter 'C' accordian book to cut and paste

Math/ Days of the Week/ Music
     - Songs
          - to the tune  of Monday Monday
Monday, Monday
The first day of the week
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Almost done, at it's peak.

And then the weekend is here,
Oh Joy of Joys!
Oh Saturday, Sunday make the weekend,
Oh Boy!

Every other day      (x3)
of the week is fine.
But on a Sunday morning
We get to worship our God Divine!

And then it's .....    (start over)

           - to the tune of the Adams family
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)

There's a Sunday and a Monday
There's Tuesday, then there's Wednesday,
There's a  Thursday and a Friday
And then there's Saturday


     - List special things on certain days like Tuesday is our garbage day
     - Look at the calendar - note which day their birthday lands on; what day were they born on? Is it different? Why?
     - Write out how you write the date: day of the week, month, number to tell the date and the year. Older children can start writing this out every day and seeing how it is different every day. Reinforcing with the calendar will help.
     - Why is learning the days of the week important? To keep track of things. To remember back. To have day of rest.... brainstorm.
          - make a cascading days of the week book and attach a picture of what the caterpillar ate on each day (I reused the sequence cards again for this)

     - make a 4 section life cycle wheel and make sure that all these phases are in it. Label and draw the stages.
          - egg
          - larva - caterpillar
          - pupa - cocoon or chrysalis
          - adult - moth or butterfly
     - read about caterpillars in the butterfly lapbook page of homeschool share, and enchanted learning and reference books
     - fill out caterpillar question mini book found in the butterfly lapbook page
     - Parts of a Caterpillar
           - Anatomy handout:  head, thorax, abdomen, 6 legs- identify a caterpillar as an insect
     - How do Caterpillars Grow (you could use another  8 section wheel here if you wanted)
          - hatch, eat, eat, eat
          - molt, eat, eat, eat
          - molt (how many times)
          - hang in a 'J' from a branch or leaf
          - pupa
          - metamorphosis
          - moth or butterfly
          - eat
          - lay eggs...
     - how do we grow? How is it different?

Physical Fitness
     - How do caterpillars move?
          - Caterpillar race: 2 balloons for each group of 3. Set up cones or obstacles for the race. Everyone has to place a balloon between themselves and move like a caterpillar around the obstacles. Don't use your hands! See if you can beat your own time!
          - Caterpillar Race 2: 1 Sleeping bag or large sack per person. Make a finish line. Have child squirm and wriggle on the ground to the finish line. No rolling!
     -  Recite this poem found in Animals Animals

My Opinion
 Is a caterpillar ticklish
Well, it's always my belief
That he giggles as he wiggles
Across a hairy leaf.
                                                   by Monica Shannon

     - how fast do you think a caterpillar moves? Refer to the butterfly lapbook for the answer.
     - which way of moving was more like a caterpillar? Why?
     - start memorising
The Caterpillar
Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry;
Take your walk
To the shady leaf or stalk.
           - watch the Magic School Bus Butterfly and the Bog Monster
           - read the Creepy Crawlers article in Wild Magazine, Volume 4 Issue 3
           - list the ways that caterpillars protect themselves
           - watch you tube: Fascinating Caterpillars Animated Slideshow and note how one caterpillar looks like bird poop! I could not get this to link, but all you have to do is go to You Tube and type it in the search engine. It pops right up.
          - make a scary mask out of a paper plate so you can pretend to be a caterpillar defending itself from predators

          - memorize the rest of
The Caterpillar

 Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry;
Take your walk
To the shady leaf or stalk.

May no toad spy you
May the little bird pass by you;
Spin and die,
To live again as a butterfly.
                                                                                                by Christina Rosetti

Math/ Counting
     - days of the week
     - foods, food groups...
     - bites that the caterpillar took in The Very Hungry Caterpillar
     - Bumps on the caterpillar
     - Online game TVO Kids - Caterpillar Count
     - Print out this board game to practice the numbers up to 10
     - You can use a pocket for the numbers you count or pictures you may be using, for example, cut outs from a flyer.
     - Just remember for older kids, if you can count you can make a chart. For example, a bar chart on the nutritious (for humans) food that the caterpillar ate.

We picked up some gummy 'caterpillars' and I layered them in ice cream for a special treat. We had fun estimating how many there were in each ice cream and then counting and adding them.

     - We generally work on vocabulary as we are working through the unit. Words we used were Habitat, Molt, Larva, Pupa, Metamorphisis, Thorax and Abdomen. Concentrate on one or two words a day and make sure you repeat them throughout the unit. We used the first four words for spelling as well and simply practiced them on the assigned day. A vocabulary flap booklet is a good idea too.

     - Pipe cleaner caterpillar pins for summer hats: all you need is pipe cleaners, a pencil, googly eyes, safety pins and hot glue gun. Twist the pipe cleaner around the pencil in a spring and slip off. Pick two googly eyes and place them at one end using the hot glue gun. Obviously, Mama or Poppa is in charge of this. Attach a safety pin and stick it to the hat. Voila!

      - Egg carton caterpillars: egg cartons, googly eyes, construction paper, stickers, pom poms, pipe cleaners and whatever you would like to decorate with and some glue. Cut egg carton in half and in half again leaving a strip of attached bumps. Make a face at one end with googly eyes and antennae of pipe cleaners. You can now decorate your caterpillar as you would like. Maybe some pipe cleaner legs?
      - Paper plate file for the lapbook itself. Buy some green paper plates and attach 4 with little strip of paper that fold in the middle so that you have a line of 4 plates that will fold in on each other. #1 should fold onto #2 and #4 onto #3. Then fold in half if the plates aren't too thick, to make a book. #1 is the face and the rest of the book can be filled with your mini booklets.
And here it is!

Just for Fun:
          - Balancing Act with Sid the Science Kid (this game has caterpillars in it)
          - An Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar colouring page
          - Connect the letter C. A.T.E.R.P.I.L.L.A.R.
          - Colouring pages that are pretty realistic
          - Caterpillar colouring

Fun Fact:
          - "The life of the hook-tip caterpillar is quite simple: eat, eat, eat and eat some more. But watch out if another caterpillar tries to munch on the same leaf! According to Canadian biologist Jayne Yack, ones a caterpillar claims a leaf, it starts to spin a protective tent while crunching the leaf's edges. If another caterpillar tries to move in, however, the resident caterpillar stops eating and starts drumming! Using a set of stiff  'oars' on its hind end, the resident caterpillar creates a scraping noise, and the threat is made louder by drumming and scraping its jaws. Usually the display was enough to send the intruder packing within 5 minutes, but Yack witnessed some duels that went on for hours."   Wild Magazine Vol.6 Issue 2 page38

Other Fantastic Caterpillar Units can be found at:

The Teaching Heart
Confessions of a Homeschooler