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Literature Unit Study Ideas for The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (31 Days of Literature Unit Ideas)

Leah Courtney
{This post may contain affiliate links.Read my disclosure here. }

This post is part of the 31 Days of Literature Unit Ideas series. You can find all of the books in this series here. If you'd like to use this literature unit, you can find a FREE printable guide below.

The book I'm sharing today is a classic children's picture book. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle has great illustrations in the style of Eric Carle, and there are so many great ideas for extending the learning in this book.

About the book...

"In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..." So begins the story that follows this little egg as it hatches a baby caterpillar. This little caterpillar is quite hungry, and through the days of the week, we follow him to see all of the things he finds to eat. Finally, the little caterpillar is quite full. Then the reader sees him spin a cocoon and emerge into a beautiful butterfly.

Filled with great illustrations, the story draws kids in. And the repeating pattern of days of the week and food items the little caterpillar finds makes the story one even very little children will enjoy. There are also some fun ways to extend the learning with this book.

Science connections...

Math connections...
  • For counting practice, draw the correct number of each fruit that the caterpillar eats during his first five days. Cut the fruit apart. As you read, count out the correct number of each fruit.
  • Because our caterpillar hatches on Sunday and eats his way through the week, learning the days of the week is a good extension. Watch this kids' video to learn the days of the week.
  • Put the days of the week in order with this fun, interactive puzzle.
  • For another way to practice the days of the week concept, write the names of the days on a chart. Each day let the child draw something he ate that day...just like our caterpillar friend.

Language arts connections...


Other resources...

If you'd like to use this book as a literature unit, you can print a FREE guide here.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She’s graduated two teens- one who’s a legal adult now! And she’s still homeschooling two middle schoolers. She loves all things book related, and in her- very rare- free time you can find her listening to audiobooks and coloring.


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