The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Guardian Mentone East
Learning through discovery and interest are two driving forces at Guardian Mentone East.
After finding a caterpillar in the Centre’s garden, the children started questioning and learning more about their new friend. Seeing the children’s interest in the caterpillar, the Educators decided to read Eric Carle’s classic children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Discussions about the book led to the children creating a poster of all the foods they think The Very Hungry Caterpillar would enjoy. They demonstrated their numeracy skills through counting how many different foods they imagined the caterpillar would eat each day and also explored days of the week in the context of the book.
From here, the children started to question the evolution of this very hungry caterpillar!
This was the perfect opportunity for educators to discuss the lifecycle of a butterfly. After watching a short clip and then drawing their interpretation of each stage of the lifecycle, children had the opportunity to develop their hand eye coordination and practice using pencils and pens through this interactive experience.
All of this work made the children very hungry.
Keeping in theme, the children created their interpretation of a caterpillar using fruit and vegetables. This allowed for the exploration of colour, shape and discussions around nutrition.
Guardian Mentone East actively involves children in their menu creation, as well as in the preparation of meals. By involving children in this process, they are more open to trying new textures and flavours as well as supported in forming a healthy relationship with food and nutrition.
From experimenting with balloons and paint, to making pet caterpillars from donated socks, children continued exploring different activities relating to the Centre’s very hungry new friend, with the support of their Educators. The children enjoyed talking about which colour paint they used and looking at what patterns the balloons made on the paper.
Educators also created an area for children to play with the caterpillar, which they have thoroughly enjoyed. One family brought in a Hungry Caterpillar puzzle, too, which the children attempt to complete as a group.
After learning about the evolution of a butterfly, the children have been inspired to learn how to help plants grow.
Every child and Educator in the room planted their own bean in a small pot. The children chose their own beans to plant and have been watching and watering the beans daily. They also recently watched a short video which shows the lifecycle of the bean.
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