A Book of Days

The Very Hungry Caterpillar lends itself to creative crafts – from egg carton caterpillars, to tissue art, to papier-mâché. I like the way the pages of the book get bigger and bigger as the caterpillar eats his way through the week, so I found a way to help pupils mimic it in their own personalised books.

What you need:

  1. A printout of the booklet.
  2. A ruler, penknife and cutting mat OR a pair of scissors for each child
  3. A stapler OR a piece of ribbon and a hole punch
  4. Colouring pencils OR a printout of the pictures from the book (1 per child)

What you do:

  1. Print out the PDF file back-to-back. Make sure your printer is perfectly aligned for this! If you don’t have a back-to-back facility on your printer, or you lack ink, then just print out pages 1 and 3.
  2. Cut out the pages of the booklet. Depending on your own situation – time, resources, children’s abilities, children’s behaviour, and a host of other aspects – you can either do this yourself, or ask children to do it in class. Ideally, leave a small space around the edge, to allow for discrepancies in the border of the front and back pages.

3. Pupils trace over the words and fill in their name and the date on the second page.

4. Either give pupils the cut-up pictures from the book as a categorisation activity, to glue onto the appropriate page, or ask pupils to draw the appropriate picture on each page. If you give pupils the pictures, make sure you have sized them correctly to fit on each page.

5. Either staple the pages together, or punch two holes on the left side of the pages, thread the ribbon through and tie a knot.

And you’re done!

If you’re really committed, before stapling the pages together you could cut holes in the food – just make an X with the penknife, then push a pencil through. Fold the four flaps back to keep it flat, or cut them off. Once the hole is made, pupils could draw a second apple/pear/whatever on the back of the page. Give students a small piece of cardboard from an old cereal box and get them to draw, colour and cut out a little caterpillar. When telling the story in class, ask students to read along with their own books, poking the caterpillar through the holes as he eats each day’s food.

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