Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We are finished with all the official BFIAR books that I had planned to do.  There are so many other good books out there with a myriad of corresponding activities, so I picked a book from our bookshelf and got to work finding some.  I settled on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  I wanted a book that had activities geared more for Abby's level (she's 2.5 years old) and this book seemed to fit the bill.  The book goes over numbers, days of the week, colors, and even has some repetition in it so after only a few reads, the kids are able to "read" the book themselves.

The Fuzzy Caterpillar
(tune: The Itsy Bitsy Spider)
The fuzzy caterpillar
Curled upon a leaf.
Spun her little chrysalis
And then fell asleep.
While she was sleeping,
She dreamed that she could fly.
And later when she woke up,
She was a butterfly!
~ Author Unknown

There are so many ready-made activities out on the internet for this book that reinventing the wheel was not necessary.

I made this die and printed off the corresponding graph.  They each took turns rolling the die and coloring the correct square.  This activity was much more fun than I had anticipated, that's for sure.

   Abby traced the caterpillar to the food almost perfectly!  I really can't believe how good she is at holding her pencil and following the lines.  William then took her finished tracing sheet and showed her how to cut along the lines.  After he cut them he got some tape out and taped them back together for a sort of make-shift puzzle.

I printed out some caterpillars in varying sizes and had her practice putting them in order from smallest to largest, and vice versa. 

She was so proud of herself when she was able to get them all correct!

Abby will be making an alphabet book as well, so her first letter she started with was capitol C.  I cut out some circles and both kids took turns gluing them into the shape of a caterpillar C.    

Here is the final product!  The kids wouldn't give me a serious smile, but they are both actually quite happy in this shot.

William, then, had this great idea to make trees and leaves for the caterpillars.  The opening page in the book shows the caterpillar egg lying on a leaf, which when the egg hatches the small caterpillar promptly eats through the leaves...and a bunch of other food items.  So each child made a tree (I made Abby's tree, but she did all the gluing) and William made his tree completely by himself (and signed his name at the top!). 
Here are their final products.  I printed some caterpillars so they were able to glue one on to their leaf as well.

Imitating Eric Carle Art

I really love the illustrations in the Eric Carle books, so I decided that we'd try to see if we could make butterflies in the style of Eric Carle.  This project took two days to complete, and several attempts.  I first tried tissue paper with water colors.  Abby did great with it, but I thought the colors were too light and boring. So I chucked it.  I then gave the tissue paper to William, along with finger paints.  I also tried this, and for me it worked perfectly.  Not so much for a four year old.  The tissue paper bunched something fierce and just frustrated him.  So I chucked it.  I then got out some card stock along with the finger paints.  Major success!

Every time we paint I always instruct them NOT to mix the colors, always to clean off brushes/fingers  before going on to a new color, not to smear the colors on their papers...but this time all those rules were thrown out the window.  I told them to mix away, getting the colors all swirled together to create as many different colors and textures as possible.  We read many Eric Carle books over the week so they knew what sort art style we were going for.  Let's just say this activity was a huge hit.

Here is William's finished paper.  Abby had one quite similar.  I did "fix" this up a little, making sure the paint went all the way to the edges of the paper.  We then laid the out to dry overnight.  In the morning we had a little conundrum with the paper curling, but we laid heavy books on them for a few hours and by the afternoon they were ready to be cut.

I cut out templates for the butterfly and William did all his own cutting.  I cut out Abby's.

Here are their finished butterflies.  (Abby's is on the left, William's is on right.  Eric Carle's is on top.)  I have to say I'm SO proud of this art lesson!  The kids did such a great job!

I also made butterfly snakes for the kids one day using Ritz crackers, peanut butter, pretzels, and chocolate chips.  It's hard to tell in this picture that they are butterflies - I should have used regular pretzels instead of pretzel chips.  Either way the kids thought my idea was ingenious.  Heh. Heh... 

Other Sources: 
* DLTK's Book Break

I'm planning on a garden unit for this week, since yesterday we started planting.  I have one garden box pretty much planted already with the early spring veggies, and need to plan for the other ones that I will plant in April.  They are so excited to continue working on our garden this year!

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