Here are my 23 (and counting) ideas on a weeks worth or more of lessons incorporating The Very Hungry Caterpillar to teach Spanish.
1. Print 3 pages (one for puppets described in #2 and two more copies for a memory game) and cut out the pictures that represent the oruga and all the things he ate from here. You may also want to laminate them. I have a small laminator like this one that I love.
2. Make these popsicle stick puppets. If you want smaller puppets make them from these sequencing cards instead.
3. Use this PDF of the text of the story for easy reference.
4. Make this caterpillar sock puppet. Check out this youtube video showing how to make a similar caterpillar/ butterfly sock puppet.
Review the days of the week in Spanish.
5. Say "Estos son los días de la semana." Have student(s) repeat days.
6. Sing the days of the week song in Spanish to the tune of the Adams family.
7.Sing the days of the week in Spanish to the tune of Oh My Darlin.' Just sing through the days twice to Oh My Darlin and you'll have it.
8. Review all the foods that the oruga will eat in the story using pictures or Popsicle stick puppets.
la manzana - apple
la pera - pear
la ciruela - plum
la fresa - strawberry
la naranja - orange
un pastel de chocolate- chocolate cake
un pepinillo- a pickle
un trozo de queso suizo- a piece of Swiss cheese
una rodaja de salame- a slice of salami
un pastel de cerezas- a cherry pie
una salchicha- a sausage
un pastelito- a muffin
una tajada de sandía- a slice of watermelon
un barquillo de helado - ice cream cone
una paleta - lollipop
9. Watch "A mí me gusta la fruta. " Please note that the "a mí" in the video is missing the accent over the "i."
10. Read La Oruga Muy Hambrienta. Insert comments and questions as you go.
Vocabulary Practice Activities:
11. Talk about the word saludable/healthy.
Have your students either say es saludable or no es saludable after you say each of the things the oruga ate. Use the pictures again or the Popsicle stick puppets, putting them in two different groups.You can use this chart I created to graph each food.
12. Graph with all the pictures of the foods that the oruga ate. Don't worry that your students don't know all the vocabulary. You can mime some of the words like "comió" and "hambrienta."
13. TPR to practice vocabulary--Place pictures or plastic representations of fruit in a magic box or bag. As the students reach into the box and take out a fruit say its name (Esta fruta es la manzana./This fruit is the apple.) and give them TPR commands, such as, toca la pera/touch the pear; coge la manzana/take the apple; camina con la ciruela/walk around with the plum; pasa la cereza a Diana/pass the cherry to Diane.
14. Ask Natural Approach questions to the students to help them identify and say the names of the fruits. ¿Quién tiene la fresa?/Who has the strawberry? ¿Es esto una naranja o una manzana?/Is this an orange or an apple? ¿Cómo se llama esta fruta/What is this fruit called? (The above two bulleted activities are from here.)
15. Play "Come la Fruta." Everyone has a fruit and the caterpillar comes around and eats it one at a time. Everybody says "come la fresa."
16. Watch this slightly animated version, mute it and read the text in Spanish
17. Sing the events of the story to the tune of 10 little Indians.
18. Watch a cartoon version of the Wiggles doing "ensalada de fruta fresca"
19. Paint a caterpillar using leaves
--Say Vamos a hacer una oruga usando hojas y pintura.
20. Finger paint a caterpillar. Here's mine.
21. Study/ observe caterpillars as they change into butterflies.
22. Watch this you tube video "Time Lapse Painted Lady Pupation"
I'm not sure who this has been more fun for. Me or my kids. I have probably learned as much as they have about caterpillars so far. Here are some of the things I learned:
- Caterpillars moult
- Butterflies form a chrysalis or pupa not a cocoon. (This was a surprise for me. I've lived my whole life thinking they formed a cocoon. It turns out that moths are the ones that can form a cocoon.)
24. Create this caterpillar bean bag toss. This looks like it would be really easy to make since it is out of foam board. As each child tries to toss a fruit in the caterpillars mouth have him or her say, "Come la fresa oruga." --idea from Enchanted Schoolhouse