Caterpillar Exchange

Eric Carle is one of my very favorite children book authors.  I love his vibrant illustrations and simple story lines that include a life lesson.

Carle’s books are timeless and great to use in the classroom,  which is why I was so excited to find The Caterpillar Exchange, a website with dozens of ideas that have been submitted by teachers, parents and librarians for science, art, reading, and writing lessons.  Even entire theme units!!

Here are a couple of the submissions:

  • We use many Eric Carle books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar) to teach a unit on writing pattern books in second grade. Almost all of his books have a pattern or repeating lines. First, the children read the books in groups of 3 and find the pattern or repeating lines in each book. We use Eric Carle books as touchstone texts that the children can grab at anytime to help them write their own pattern book. Some children do their own version Brown Bear, Brown Bear but change the things he sees, some children write a different version like Black Cat, Black Cat and some children write completely original pattern books. It is a great way for teachers to differentiate and for children to work at their own level. During Writers’ Workshop the rest of the year they can go back to writing pattern books as they finish other projects. Their pattern/repeating line books get more sophisticated as the year goes on.

Submitted by Courtenay Garver

  • After reading Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle and Pancakes For Breakfast by Tommie DePoala we make pancakes using the recipes from both books. The children measure, mix, and watch as the batter turns into pancakes. We discuss the changes that occur during this process. After we make pancakes using both recipes, the children do a taste test and graph the pancakes they liked the best. Then we compare and contrast the recipes. The children conclude this activity by writing letters to the author of their favorite pancake recipe.

Submitted by Serena Buckner

Find many more lesson ideas here!

Leave a Reply