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This is a multi-disciplinary lesson on “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and sequencing of events


Language Arts, Math, Music, Science  


K, 1, 2  

Title – Sequencing The Very Hungry Caterpillar
By – Jane Slotnick
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Math, Science, Music
Grade Level – K-2

Goal: To introduce the concept of sequence or story order

Objectives: by the end of the lesson:

  • students will be able to sequence any set of events in the correct order
  • students will be able to use the concept of ordinal numbers to help organize story events
  • students will be learn the meaning of new vocabulary words
  • students will listen for a purpose
  • students will use a graphic organizer to arrange story events
  • students will summarize story events


      Manipulatives from the story

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

      , the book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    , sentence strips, hand outs, puzzles of butterfly life cycle, photographs of people in various stages of life, vocabulary words, scissors, glue, crayons, pencils, compact disc of the instrumental version of “Up on the Housetop”, poster with the butterfly version of this song


      1. Introduce the idea of sequencing. Ask the children if they know what it is or why it is important. Illicit that sequencing is the order of events in a story or in our lives. Understanding the sequence helps us to comprehend the story or situation. The awareness that events occurring in sequential order can be related to each other helps to bring meaning to a story. Put up the word “sequence” and show the class the pictures of the people in different life stages. Discuss that we are not born as older adults. First we are babies and then we become toddlers. The next stage is young adulthood and finally older adulthood. Put the pictures in the correct order. Give another example about getting ready for school. We don’t come to school and then wake up. We don’t come to school in pajamas and then brush our teeth. There is a specific order in which we carry out our tasks. This is the same idea when we read a book. Understanding the order of events helps us understand the story.
      2. Before I read the book, I will introduce a few vocabulary words that I think the students should know. The vocabulary words are the following words: lay, emerges, chrysalis and beautiful. I will ask the students to define these words and give them examples of sentences to help them figure out the meaning of each word. When I read the story I will be sure to point out each vocabulary word and its meaning.
      3. I will introduce the book,

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

      , and ask if the students are familiar with the book. I will mention the author as well. We will look at the cover and a few pages and predict what the story may be about. Before I read the book I will explain that the main purpose of reading the book is to listen for the main events in the story in order. Next I will read the story and have the students make predictions and confirm their predictions. I will help them realize that there is order in the story regarding the days of the week. I will ask questions and be sure to review the vocabulary words. I will also have the student read the story with me, particularly the ending of the pages that say, ” but he was still hungry.”
      4. I will use guided practice to have the children create sentences based on the growth of the caterpillar. The sentences will be the following:
      1. A little egg lay on a leaf.
      2. The tiny caterpillar emerges from the egg.
      3. A tiny caterpillar eats and grows.
      4. A chrysalis forms around the caterpillar.
      5. He turns into a beautiful butterfly.

Manipulative felt characters will be placed next to each sentence to help the visual learner.


      The order of actions is important because it helps us to organize the events that happen in a story and in our lives. By understanding the connection and order of events we better understand the situation or story. I would introduce a song that goes to the tune of “Up on the Housetop”. We will listen to the compact disc and sing the song as well as ‘read’ the words. This song organizes the stages of the butterfly life cycle. The lyrics are as follows:

First comes a butterfly lays an egg
out comes a caterpillar with many legs
oh see the caterpillar spin and spin
a little chrysalis to sleep in
oh oh oh look and see
oh oh oh look and see
out of the chrysalis
my oh my
out comes a pretty butterfly.

Using music to teach concepts is especially good for many students with learning disabilities. I use music very often in my classroom to teach many concepts. Students who have difficulty with spoken language often seem to learn more easily through music.

Independent/Group Practice

Four different activities will be available for students to practice sequencing events from the story. Working with a partner or small group will be encouraged so that the students can think out loud and learn from each other.


Activity 1: Students will cut out the four main events from the story and glue them in the correct order. They are asked to write a sentence for each picture.


Activity 2 : Students will cut sentences and put them in the correct order and draw a picture.


Activity 3: Higher functioning students will have a blank organizer and be asked to draw the picture and write the sentences for picture.


Activity 4 : The blind student will put the manipulatives of the food from the story in the correct order. He will also be given a puzzle of the life cycle of the butterfly and asked to sequence the story events.

When the students are finished they will be asked to read their sentences to a peer for reciprocal teaching. Then several students will be asked to read their sentences or show their pictures to the class. Modifications for the struggling students include listening to the story with the book in front of them. Braille version and tape would be available for the blind student.


Several activities are available for homework depending on the students’ abilities.


Activity 1: Based upon getting ready for school in the morning. Students will cut out the pictures and put them in the correct order and write a sentence for each picture.


Activity 2: Students are asked to read a passage about getting ready for school. Students will rewrite the sentences in the correct order.


Activity 3 : The blind student will be asked to read apassage in Braille and tape record the five main events in the story in sequential order.

Extension Activities

It is very important to differentiate the instruction because children learn differently. There are visual, auditory, kinesthetic learners in every classroom. For the visual learner I have included manipulative figures as well as the written word for each stage of the butterfly cycle. The auditory learner will learn by listening, the song about the butterfly stages will help this type of student learn. The kinesthetic learner would enjoy an activity where music is used to act out the stages of the butterfly life. Other extensions include putting the foods in order by day of the week, putting the days of the week in order, unscrambling the days of the week and using them as spelling words. Students could also sequence the directions needed to make a butterfly. Butterfly stamps of the life cycle could be put in the correct order and sentences would be written to explain each event.


Teachers are constantly assessing student learning. The teacher would assess how the students were able to answer questions regarding the events in the butterfly’s life. The hand outs that the students work on in class will also give insight as to who seems to understand the concept of sequential order. Finally the homework will further help measure which students need help and who comprehends this concept.



Name: ______________________


Cut pictures. Glue in order. Write a sentence for each picture.




































Name: _______________________

Draw a picture and write a sentence for each of the main events in the story.

Be sure the events are in the same order as the story.


































Name: _____________

This is a story that is not in order. Read the story and rewrite it below in the correct order.

  1. Mom and I wait for the bus to take me to school.
  2. I brush my teeth before I go downstairs for breakfast.
  3. Mom gives me cereal and milk to eat.
  4. I wake up in the morning and get out of bed.
  5. I pick out my clothes and get dressed.








He is a beautiful butterfly.

The chrysalis forms.

A tiny caterpillar emerges from the egg.

The egg lay on the leaf.





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