The Very Hungry Caterpillar Graph

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Students will be able to sort pictures, record the data on a graph, and talk about their graph using the words more, less and equal.

Big Idea

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a story about a caterpillar that eats different things on different days. Students will use their graphing skills to organize what he ate on a graph.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start each math lesson with a Problem of the Day.  I use the procedures outlined here on Problem of the Day Procedures.

Today's Problem of the Day:

Make a graph to show the number of boys and girls in the class.  Which group has less?

The students can use the boy and girl image with infinite cloner to create a class graph.  All students participate in creating the graph.  I call up one girl to count the girls and write the number and one boy to count the boys and write the number.  I call on an additional student to answer the question about which group has less.  If you do not have a SMART board, you can use the pdf.  Students can mark off a box to create the graph.  You can also create your own boys/girls graph. 

In this problem, the students organizing information and comparing the number in each group.

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I project the The Very Hungry Caterpillar Notebook File on the SMART Board.  The slide shows the foods eaten by the caterpillar.  I show students the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  Check it out here.

The caterpillar in this story is very hungry and eats a lot of things.  We are going to read the story and create a graph to organize the food he eats.

I read the story and have students come up and work on the graph as we read.  When we are finished, I tell students that they are going to be sorting and organizing the caterpillar's food and showing it on your own Hungry Caterpillar Graph. This graph is a free download from Teachers Pay teachers.

You are going to be doing this paper on your own, but we are going to go over the directions together.  When you get to your seat, do not touch your cup of color tiles.  You need to get out a pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start.

I use the procedures outlined here on the Paper Procedures.

There are no directions written on this page.  You need to cut out the food, sort them based on which day the caterpillar ate them and glue them to your graph.  Raise your hand if you need help.  When you are finished talked to your neighbor about what you can learn from looking at this graph.

I walk around and make sure that students are correctly sorting and creating their graphs.  As students start to finish.  I join in to conversations about the graphs.  I encourage students to make comparisons as they discuss their graph.  Once I have talked to pairs about their graph, I tell them they can put their paper in the basket and get their center.


20 minutes

The centers for this week are:

I quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers.   I pull three groups during centers and work with them depending on the time they need (5 - 10 minutes).

Today I am focusing on teen numbers with all of the groups.  Based on the end of unit assessment for teen numbers and report card assessments that I am currently working on, I have found that my students are still struggling with teen numbers.  They have caught on to graphing quickly, so I feel that it is important to use this small group time to practice identifying teen numbers and counting groups of up to 20 objects.  I group the students by ability level based on the assessments I mentioned above, but I do the same activity with all three groups.  I start with teen number flashcards.  I then give each student a number card and the student counts out that number of objects.  Finally, I say a teen number and have each student write it on their white board.

Prior to clean up, I check in with each table to see how the centers are going.  I turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean.  Students clean up and return to their seats. This is a paid resource, but there are many free examples of transition songs easily found in a web search.  Another transition I have been using lately during clean up has been counting down from 20 slowly.  The students like to count backwards with me as they clean up and I can lengthen or reduce the clean up time based on how students are doing and how much time we have.


5 minutes

To close, I put a student's paper on the document camera a project it on the SMART Board.  I have that student explain their work.  I ask another student to share what s/he learned from creating the graph.  I mention positive things noticed during centers as well as something that needs to be better next time. 

I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we learned to sort and organize information from a story on a graph.  Tomorrow, we are going to continue this with another story!"