As a veteran teacher, I used the same books about insect over and over again for years and thought everything was going well. Then I saw the book The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach. I literally laughed and smiled while reading this through myself. When I read this title to my class; joy and laughter filled the room. You must check out this book asap.
Lacking Patience in Kindergarten
I can’t stop laughing about the connection in this book about patience. Kinders typically lack patience and when you read this book, you will notice that the caterpillar also lacks patience. I can not believe that I missed the idea of waiting for two weeks for so many years. Kindergarten students identify with the main character instantly. Waiting is hard. Waiting to turn into a butterfly is super hard.
Sequencing the Story
Making Connections to Writing
One of my favorite ways to encourage my learners to want to write (and to try their best to write) is to write about something that brings them JOY… like a hilarious story all about this impatient caterpillar. Because this book includes some bigger words like caterpillar and migration, a word wall is a must.
Reading Comprehension Game
This reading comprehension game remains on the class favorites. Students literally run to this small group. To play, students in a group put a unifix cube on the start space. Then, they take turns answering reading comprehension questions about the story. If they answer correctly, they can roll a die and move that many spaces. If they do not answer correctly, they do not get to roll the die. Little do my learners know, but I am using a class list with check marks and Xs to keep data.
Word Work Options
We are carrying this caterpillar theme over to word work as well. Although most of my little learners have mastered CVC words, we are still reviewing CVC words for word work so we don’t forget. I have found that once we move onto long vowels, students tend to forget the short vowel sound unless we constantly review it.
Blends Word Work
One skill we are constantly working on is blends. We understand blends, but we simple do not have the fluency with reading just yet. This process seems to take learners time to master; therefore I work to create fun ways for them to practice these activities with our theme. To play this blend game, we see the picture on the left side and build it with the letter pieces. Can you see how they create a caterpillar in the background?!