Eric Carle Olivia carter, Kristen Mcafee, Jessica parrish, maggie potter

Fiction Books

Carle, E. (1969). The very hungry caterpillar. New York, NY: Philomel.

Vocabulary: hungry, cocoon, nibbled, lay

Carle, E. (1977). The grouchy ladybug. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.

Vocabulary: aphids, insist, grouchy, eerily, encountered

Carle, E. (1989). The very busy spider. New York: Penguin Publishers.

Vocabulary:silky, spinning, bleated, meadow, grunted

Read-Aloud Videos

NonFiction Books

Gibbons, G. (2013). Ladybugs. New York, NY: Holiday House.

Berger, M. (2003). Spinning spiders. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Rissman, R. (2012). Caterpillars. Chicago, IL: Raintree.


Activity: Vocabulary Dice (Rock and Roll)

  • Separate the students in groups of 3-4.
  • Give each group a die and the reference sheet.
  • The students will roll the die and complete the activity the die lands on.
  • The group of students will work together to complete the activity.
  • Each student will write down the answer to the activity in their journal or on a piece of paper.
  • Each word requires two rolls, so the students will complete two activities for each word.
Examples of activities

Comprehension Activity

Beach Ball Activity: Story Ball

  • Obtain 5 beach balls for a class size of 25, making 5 groups of 5 and on each colored section write "Where?" "Who?" "Beginning?" "Middle?" "End?" and "Favorite part?" or any other questions that may relate to the books you want the students to answer.
  • If weather permits, take students outside, but if not have them create 5 mini circles for each group in the classroom.
  • Begin the activity by tossing the beach ball to a student and which ever section his or her right hand is touching, they must answer that question.
  • "Where did the story take place?" "Who were the main characters?" "What happened in the beginning, in the middle, in the end?" "What is their favorite part?"
  • Continue tossing the ball until all 5 groups have have answered all the questions.
  • Once all students have finished playing story ball, have them return to their seats and write down their answers and illustrate it.
Examples of story balls


Narrative: Imagine you are a hungry caterpillar. Describe your day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Talk about what you do, what you eat, what you see, etc. Go through the writing process.

  • Plan: Students will create a graphic organizer planning out their day as a caterpillar. They will decide what the caterpillar looks like, what it will do in the morning, afternoon, and night, and what it will eat. The students can plan out anything else they decide to put in the story.
  • Draft: Students will write their draft in their writing journal. The draft is about the content. The students will write, skipping every other line. This draft will be used to conference with.
  • Revise: Each student will get a partner to read their story. The students will peer review their story and discuss what they like about the story and what they should fix. The student should give at least two suggestions on what to fix. I will also hold a short conference with each student.
  • Edit: Once revised, the student will go through their story and look for spelling, punctuation, etc. They will also have another student look for those errors too.
  • Publish: The students will write or type their final copy. They will draw and color their own caterpillar from their story.

Opinion: Which Eric Carle book was you favorite? Why? Back up your stance with three reasons.

Expository (research): Pick one of the insects we have learned about (ladybug, caterpillar, spider). Research the life cycle of the insect. Describe the stages, what happens during those stages, what the insect eats, and what the insect does.

speaking (oral language)

Have the students learn the song in small groups then perform the song for the class. They can also make up their own songs that relate to the books read.

visual representation

After reading The Grouchy Ladybug, students will create a ladybug craft with a paper plate. On the ladybug, students will express something that makes them feel grouchy, happy, sad, and excited by writing it and drawing it.

Materials for the Ladybug Craft:

  • two white paper plates
  • red and black tempura paint
  • paintbrush
  • scissors
  • black construction paper
  • black pipe cleaner (optional)
  • googly eyes
  • glue stick
  • single hole punch
  • one brad (brass plated fastener)
  • free feelings printable

listening (discriminative)

Students will watch and listen to the video below. As they are watching, they will fill in the blanks of the guided notes (below). The teacher can pause the video for younger grades to fill in the blanks for spelling and for the correct word.

Guided notes
Answers to the guided notes.


Take a tour of the Eric Carle Museum with a partner. Discuss and write about your favorite part of the museum.

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