ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Author Challenge: Eric Carle

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Author Challenge: Eric Carle

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This month kicks off our new feature, the monthly author challenge! We wanted to start with a well known and loved author, and children's book author and illustrator Eric Carle certainly is that! Most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 47 languages, he has illustrated more than seventy books. Many are best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 88 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

Along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar he is also well known for his collaborations with Bill Martin Jr. on the Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See books and spin offs like Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See. His distinctive illustrations are instantly recognizable by millions of children and their parents worldwide.

A good place to start when beginning a unit on Eric Carle's books, would have to be the Official Eric Carle Web Site. It's a great place to visit for information on the author and also has some nice resources, like this downloadable The Very Hungry Caterpillar coloring page.

You can print out the page, and then use a copier to enlarge portions of it to make a student book, and help them recreate the story. You could also use parts of the picture for patterns to make felt board pieces.

We also like the art project directions that teach you how to make a collage in the style of Eric Carle. Printable "games", i.e. worksheets like a maze that coordinate with his books are also available. The Caterpillar Exchange is a very nice collection of ideas submitted by teachers and parents, sorted by book, be sure to check that out!

Be sure to read his archived Caterpillar Expresses, as there is a lot of information about him and his work in them. His blog, yes Eric Carle is a blogger, is also a fun place to find out more about him.

Come see how The Pink and Green Mama made their very own Very Hungry Caterpillar! We love that MaryLea also included a tray of play food so that her daughters could act out the book with their caterpillars.

Confessions of a Homeschooler made a two great activities you can download! The graphing sheet you can fill out as your read the story. The lacing cards are twist on the usual activity, as you read the story you add the things the caterpillar eats onto the lace. What a creative way to incorporate fine motor skills and story retelling! These are just two of the caterpillar activities Erica has made and shares with us, there are lots more downloads. While the others many not be specifically Hungry Caterpillar activities, they would still be very appropriate to use with the book or letter C activities.

No Time for Flashcards, recently featured a guest post by Melissa from Imagination Soup who shares several author study ideas and provides a story template for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Julie at The Adventures of Bear, used to teach third grade and ended the year with an extensive Eric Carle unit. She describes some of their art projects on her blog and also shows how she modified the idea for her two year old.

Katie at A List Maker's Life planned a preschool lesson with counting practice, games, and art using Eric Carle's almost wordless book Do You Want to Be My Friend. Pictures and explanations of the activities are included on her blog.

Scholastic has a nice Author Study on Eric Carle with suggestions given for art, science, writing, math, and social studies connections to various books.

Mamabliss at Homeschooling Fun, did a unit on The Grouchy Ladybug and shares links to the resources she used as well as this great Ladybug Counting game she made herself and that you can download. That's a preview above, visit her post for the link.

Vickie Blackwell has put together a unit on The Grouchy Ladybug, with many ladybug related activities like this ladybug clock. You can also find a ladybug glyph, accordian book, an feeling activity on her site.

Laura Burns, has shared her Book Bag Activities for The Grouchy Ladybug. We liked the questions she suggests you ask the students while reading and the activity ideas. The “Grouchy Teacher” book, would be fun to adapt for the kids to make about how they feel at different parts of the day. Check out these additional Literacy Bag ideas.

We also like this lesson plan and this one for teaching how to tell time, with The Grouchy Ladybug. A lesson from Scholastic, has students sorting the animals she meets by size and other attributes.

Susana at Our Homeschool Fun, made ladybugs out of rocks.

Preschool Playbook, reads The Grouchy Ladybug and also makes this cute snack!

Basia at United Teaching send us this simple weekly art project based on the book Papa, Please Get Me the Moon.


  1. I have posted in regards to a felt board story on my blog here:

    I must of missed the call for this one.


    I will be checking out all of these resources!


  2. I think I missed the call for this too!
    I have a very fun Very Hungry Caterpillar science activity/

  3. I totally forgot to email, I had plans of doing some stuff with "House for a Hermit Crab," but never got that specific project done. And our Caterpillar stuff is nothing super original. Oh well, next time I'll remember.