Book Share Monday: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Book Share Monday: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has always been a hit in my therapy room. Whether it is simply targeting vocabulary or looking at more complex areas of language such as using adjectives, temporal concepts or semantics this book has it covered. Here are a few ways I like to use it… 

Categorizing: This book is ideal for working on the categorization of food. This task can be completed as you read the book by categorizing the food on each page or after you have read the story, either way it is simple and effective. You can simply begin with just ‘fruit’ and ‘treats’ or you can expand further and add categories such as ‘dairy’, ‘meat’ and ‘candy’. When I am short on prep time I typically write up the categories on a piece of paper and have the child draw the food under the appropriate category.

Comparing and Contrasting: A great way to work on expanding vocabulary is to compare and contrast items or images. The first way I love to do this is after reading the story I use my pretend food items and have the child pick two that the caterpillar might like to have eaten or did eat. We then compare the two looking at colour, shape, texture etc. We discuss whether they are the same or different and in what ways. The other way this can be done is whilst reading the story have the child select two items of food on the page and complete the discussion before reading on. Once again simple, effective and minimal prep required.

Instruction Following: A super fun way to incorporate the story of the very hungry caterpillar into an instruction following task begins by having your child made there own caterpillar out of playdough after you finish reading the story. I then like to lay out a few pretend food items (ideally foods found in the story) and draw a leaf on a piece of paper. From here there are endless amounts of instructions we can give to the child, here are some examples:

1 stage instructions:  

Put the caterpillar on the leaf.
Give the caterpillar the red apple to eat.
Put the banana next to the caterpillar.
 Move the pear to the corner of the table.

 2 stage instructions: 

Put the caterpillar on the leaf and give him

               the apple.

Put the cake on the leaf and hold the caterpillar.                                   

  Put the strawberry in the corner of the table and touch   your nose.                                  

A great little tip when working on instruction following is to have your child repeat the instruction back to you before completing the tasks.

Overall The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an amazing book for working your child’s speech and language. And please remember if you are short on time and completing an activity or game is not achievable today then know that there is so much power and learning in just simply reading a story to your child.