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Teacher: Marianne Parker who teaches at Ellis Elementary School in Manassas, VA. Marianne Parker can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To give the Fine Arts specialist team of Physical Education, Art, Music, (Media) library and Technology a chance to showcase their program's through student/family involvement.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed: 4 large teaching areas, book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, art supplies to complete the art project, musical instruments to complete the music project, computer lab for technology project, large parachute with assorted toy food items and butterflies, and an overhead screen with a computer for our initial power point presentation.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This was a Fine Arts team activity using our Physical Education, Music, Art, Media (library), and Technology specialists.

First Graders and their families were invited to join us in the cafeteria for this cross-curricular activity. The time frame was 7:00 p.m.- 9:00p.m. When all were seated, the librarian read the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" accompanied by a powerpoint presentation showing the dialogue and pictures of the book. When completed, the group was divided up into 4 smaller groups (color coded). One group went to the computer lab to draw caterpillars using the computers, another group went to the music room where they learned a song about caterpillars and played instruments, another group went to the art room where they made a butterfly windsock and the fourth group went to the gym where the story was retold using the parachute as the caterpillar. Groups stayed for 15 minutes and then moved to a new location. All children and families participated in each area. Our PTO provided light refreshments.

For the Physical Education area, I used the parachute as the caterpillar making ripples and waves to represent chewing. I threw different food items the caterpillar ate in the story on the parachute as everyone was shaking the parachute. We then used the caterpillar (parachute)to make a cocoon and sat inside. We climbed out of the parachute and made big waves with butterflies floating on the top.

I basically retold the story using questions and having the children answer. This was excellent reinforcement of their ability to recall.

We found that this activity gave the parents an opportunity to spend quality time with their children and also become familiar with what we do in our specialty areas.


Any book could be used in this program.

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Posted on PEC: 2/8/2005 and has received 60 votes.

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