Lesson plan

Phonics With The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Caterpillars and the hard C sound come together in this colorful lesson. With help from the ever-popular *The Very Hungry Caterpillar* by Eric Carle, students will learn about metamorphosis while developing their phonics skills.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Linking Letter Sounds pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Linking Letter Sounds pre-lesson.
  • Students will have a basic understanding of metamorphosis and be able to recognize the C sound.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Inform your students of the lesson's main topic: metamorphosis, or how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
  • Show them the cover of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and ask them what they think a caterpillar eats.
(20 minutes)
  • Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar aloud.
  • Go over some things that can be learned from the book. Examples include: the different stages of metamorphosis, number sequences, vocabulary (specifically, the names of food and days of the week), and nutrition (specifically, the effects of junk food).
  • To gauge student comprehension, ask questions such as "Why did the caterpillar get a stomachache after eating a lot of junk food?"
(5 minutes)
  • Begin a quick phonics (letter-sound correspondence) lesson by having students practice sounding out the letter C.
  • Show them that the word caterpillar begins with the letter C. Sound out caterpillar, emphasizing the c sound at the beginning.
  • Ask the class to think of other words that start with C. Prompt them to think of words related to metamorphosis that begin with C (cocoon).
(20 minutes)
  • To review, ask the class what letter caterpillar begins with.
  • Distribute the materials needed for the Phonics Fun: C is for Caterpillar activity. Then, have students work independently to complete it.


  • Show struggling students pictures of things that begin with the letter C. Help them understand that C makes a c sound, and words that start with C usually have the c sound in them.


  • Have advanced students write their own versions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. For example, a student may write a version with a tadpole as the protagonist.
  • An online video may be shown to help review the lesson. (see the Related books and/or media section)
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the class to name the different stages of metamorphosis: egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly.
  • Ask them again what letter caterpillar begins with and what sound C makes.
(5 minutes)

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