• Will Varney

Teachers: What are You Still (very) Hungry for? (Inspired by Eric Carle)

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

Eric Carle, illustrator and author of many a classic children's book, passed away on 23 May 2021. Following on from our last two blog posts about picture books, we'd like to take the opportunity to revisit what is probably his best-known work, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Many of us will have come across this story, some will have used it lots over the years and it is now more than half a century since it was first published! Let’s take a look at a few of the things we like to do with this hungry caterpillar.


A few of our favourite activities


"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" can be used as a springboard for a huge variety of activities. Here are just a few of our favourites at You First:


  • Super stick puppets (made of felt) carefully crafted and much used by our teaching colleague, Puri, bringing the story to life for young learners.

  • Card games to really dig deep into the elements and content of the story!

  • A genuinely great jigsaw puzzle to construct a butterfly life cycle piece by piece.

  • Lots of movement with “Simon says,” using story-inspired actions.

  • The story re-visited at night-time through shadow projection and a torch light (In the light of the moon ) Another of Puri's caterpillar classics.

  • One of many time-lapse videos online that show the cycle speeded up!


Have you ever used the story as a way into a project on life cycles or creepy crawlies? What very hungry caterpillar activities do you love doing with your kids?


Show kids the life cycle in real-time!


As I write, my living room at home is very much "alive" and has some very special caterpillar guests from our local Infants' School.


Here, they were being skillfully observed in class yesterday (photo above) and now, as I write this, are in my living reoom in their temporary shoe box habitat (on the left).


So their transformation is being eagerly watched by many a curious eye!


They'll go back to school in the morning ;).


Sorry about the poor quality of the photo: we didn't want to disturb them too much!


We'd love to hear from you!


We're all hungry for something, but it's often difficult to put our finger on exactly what the “fruit” or “slice of Swiss cheese” is for each of us.


We'd like you to take a moment to ask yourself: what am I still hungry for as an educator? What do I still want to learn and “digest” to help me grow, transform and develop professionally?


Why not use our Contact page to let us know?


What teaching or education issue are you really interested in right now?


Is there anything you would love us to write about in our blog?


We want our blog to put you first and at the centre of everything that we do.


Also, and in the spirit of personal growth, transformation and hunger for learning, please do take a look at our Teacher Training seminars and workshops where youll find something for everyone.


Thank you so much Eric Carle for your inspiration and work! Generations of teachers, parents, and of course, children will be forever grateful for your wonderful stories.


By Will Varney


Bio: Will is a teacher, trainer and materials author based in Galicia, Spain. His main interest lies in overcoming the challenges of CLIL education in Spain, and, more recently, in creating engaging and effective online learning experiences for young learners and adults alike.