The Very Hungry Math-erpillar

Difficulty: Easy

Students make a number line to retell part of the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.

Products Used:

Other Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Black Marker
  • Crayons
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Lesson Plan Ideas

Lesson Plan Ideas: Bats are the only mammals on Earth capable of powered flight. Their scientific name, Chiroptera, means “hand-wing,” and, like the children’s hands that make up the wings of this bat, a real bat’s wings are made up of the animal’s elongated finger bones.

Developed by: Samantha Bartholow, Early Childhood Educator, Honolulu, HI

Learning Objective

Students will practice math skills by writing numbers, comparing objects in a group, and counting objects in a group. Students will practice retelling familiar stories.

Applicable Core Standards for Grade K

With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.
Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

Project Steps:

  1. Step 1:

    Mini Lesson
    Teacher reads the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, to the students.

    Create a Butterfly

    • Students will select one color of tissue paper.
    • Students will use a pipe cleaner to wrap around the middle of the tissue paper to create a butterfly.

    Step 1


  2. Step 2:

    Create a Background

    • Students will select one piece of Railroad Board (22″x28″).
    • Students will glue a piece of picket fence onto the paper or nine posts.
    • Students will write a zero “0” under the first post with a black marker.

    Step 2


  3. Step 3:

    Reread the story

    • Teacher will reread the story with the students’ help.
    • Students will glue pieces of different colored tissue paper above the posts to correspond to the story.
    • After each section, the children will write the number under the post that matches the pieces of tissue paper above the post.

    Step 3

    • After posts 1-5 are filled, Teacher will ask questions. Students will use their butterfly to find the answer.
      – How many strawberries did the caterpillar eat?
      – How many pears did the caterpillar eat?
      – What did the caterpillar eat after the apple?
      – What did the caterpillar eat before the oranges?
      – Which color fruit did he eat the most of?
      – Did he eat more pears or strawberries?
      – How many more plums did he eat than apples?


  4. Step 4:


    • Students will finish numbering the posts to number 8.
    • Students will glue tissue paper to match the numbers under the posts.
    • Teacher will ask more questions about the number line.

    – Is number 8 bigger or smaller than 7?
    – How many hops do I need to hop in order to go from the number 7 to the number 5?
    – If the caterpillar ate one more orange, how many oranges would he have eaten in all?

  5. Step 5:

    Students can retell the story using their number line. Students can add their ideas for numbers 6-8.

    Step 5


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