Using Esl Drama with
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar“
Young children love this story , it’s ideal for revising food and numbers and introducing days of the week. Why not add a simple creative improvisation to make it even more fun and memorable for children.
Here are a few suggestions on how to introduce the story:
1. Tell the simple story using the book, get the children actively involved – show them the pictures bring to class some “real” fruit, elicit and count the fruit and food together. Ask them what they understand from the story in their native language.
2. You could use this beautiful and very well made video that I came across on the web to introduce the story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qoYPLtqqVk
3. For those more adventurous and creative you could make and use a simple sock puppet to tell the story (I’ve used the following user-friendly site in the past to make great sock puppets http://www.daniellesplace.com/HTML/puppets.html ).
4. For simple paper puppets the following blog has some interesting ideas http://babybilingual.blogspot.com/2007/04/very-hungry-caterpillar-very-hungry.html
1. Tell the children that they are now going to re-tell the story of the “Hungry Caterpillar” themselves – and that they are going to “act” being the caterpillar.
2. Make some space in the room free of tables and chairs.
3. Put on some soft/slow instrumental music
4. Ask the children to lay down on the floor and pretend to be a little egg laying on a leaf under the moon. Use the book to show the children the illustrations so they know where you are at in the story.
5. Coax the children to act and push themselves out of the egg and become a little tiny caterpillar. Ask the children how they think a caterpillar moves and get them to show you physically . Ask how many legs and feet they think a caterpillar has. What does his face look like? Remember- he’s very hungry! Start to really wriggle and crawl like hungry caterpillar looking for something to eat.
6. Get the children to imagine and mime how the caterpillar eats and crawls into an apple…munching away until he pops out the other side. Still hungry! Try not to let the children talk.. they should remain concentrated and really imagine that they are the hungry caterpillar.
7. You don’t have to do go through all the fruits as it can get a bit long..but you could get the children to mime eating different foods like a “piece of cake” or “an ice- cream”. See how sticky and mucky their faces get!
8. Get the children to mime “feeling ill” after the caterpillar eats too much.
9. “The following day the caterpillar becomes big and fat”.. get the children to mime being very heavy and moving slowly.
10. For the caterpillar’s “cocoon” use a large blanket and get all the children to crawl under and hide together. (kids find this part great fun)
11. Tell them to slowly come out from the blanket transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Get the children to flitter and fly around the room as beautiful brightly colored butterflies.