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NYU Steinhardt EMAT Teaching Residency
Hotchalk Global

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With the help of “The Hungry Caterpillar,” this “Fruit Unit” also teaches days of the week and graphing


Science, Math, Language Arts  


PreK, K  

Title – Fruity Fun
By – Karen Evans
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Math, Language Arts
Grade Level – Pre-K-K


      This is a one-week thematic lesson for pre-schoolers

    aligned with Illinois State learning standards.


    By the end of this unit, the children will have experienced new foods, learned why fruits are important, graphed information obtained by scientific discovery, learned to use tools in a purposeful manner, and applied reading to learning the numbers and days of the week.


  • 16 varieties of fruits.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Fruit stampers
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Tray or bin
  • Magnifying glass
  • Tweezers
  • Roll of paper with the children’s names labeled at the top “On Tuesday I” touched, smelled , tasted (all weekdays) with room for them to stamp their participation on the graph.
  • Large graph for graphing favorites.




          1.A.EC, 8.A.EC, 10.A.EC, 10.B.EC, 11.A.EC, 11.B.EC, 12.A.EC, 12.B.EC, 12.E.EC

        1. Read

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

        by Eric Carle

        2. Bring children to a table and show them 4 fruits. Pass them around to be examined by each child

        3. Ask them to describe the fruits. Is it rough or smooth, what shape is it, what color is it?

        4. Have children stamp on the chart that they touched each fruit.

        5. Cut the fruit open and look at the seeds. Take out the seeds and pass them around.

        6. Match seeds to fruit.

        7. Wash seeds and place in a bin with magnifying glass and tweezers for examination.

        8. Section the fruit (peel if necessary) and give a slice to each child.

        9. Ask the children why some fruit was peeled and some was not.

        10. Ask the children what the fruit smells like.

        11. Have the children stamp on the chart that they smelled the fruit.

        12. Ask the children how we are going to get rid of this fruit.

        13. See what they say. If they do not suggest eating it, suggest eating it or putting it in the mouth and spitting it into the garbage.

        14. Ask the children what it tasted like. (Liked or didn’t like.)

        15. Have the children stamp on the chart what fruits they tasted.

        16. Have children put on their own chart which fruits they liked.



          (Additional Standards: 1.B.EC, 1.C.EC)

        1. Read

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

        . This time allow the children to say the days of the week, numbers, and types of food eaten.

        2. Bring the children to the table and present four more fruits.

        3. Repeat Tuesday’s plans with the new fruits.


        Additional Standards:

          6.A.EC, 6.C.EC

        1. Read

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

        . This time have the children say days and numbers and ask them what the caterpillar will eat tomorrow.

        2. Bring the children to the table and present four more fruits.

        3. Repeat the lesson with the new fruits.

        4. Later in the day, have the children come back to the table and stamp fruits alongside the numerals 1-5. (Either use the star from an apple, or regular stamp pad stamps.)


        Additional Standards:

          22.A.EC, 24.A.EC

        1. Read

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

        . Repeat Thursday’s lesson with the story.

        2. Bring the children to the table and repeat lessons.

        3. Have all 16 fruits present. Try to name the fruits with the children.

        4. Give the children time to classify the fruits (according to peel, shape, seeds, etc.).

        5. Graph the fruits the children say they liked.

        6. Make fruit salad with the favorites for snack.

        7. Later in the day stamp numbers 6-10.

      8. Leave the seeds in a tray for future examination with tweezers and magnifying glass.

E-Mail Karen Evans !

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