"The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
MUSIC 405 Final Project by Kris Harland & Kaitlin Oldenhuis
Combining Music and Language Arts
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
To begin the activity, the teacher will have students think about what they remember about the life cycle of a butterfly. The teacher will ask the students to talk to their elbow partner about what they came up with. The teacher will then ask the students to share with the whole class their ideas. The teacher will write these answers on the board using words as well as pictorial representation. The teacher will then tell the students about the project they are going to be doing. The students will also be informed of the overall goal of the project as well.
The teacher will introduce the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The teacher will ask the students to look for the ways counting and the days of the week are represented in the book. The teacher will remind students what repetition is an then ask the the students to look for repetition in the book as well. The teacher will read the book once one time all the way through and will then explain the activity to the students. The goal of the project is to create a whole class musical composition to go along with a section of the book.
The teacher will tell students that they will be using the ABA form of composition. They will come up with the introduction, B part and coda as a class. Each group will be responsible for coming up with a section of the A part as well as an ostinato.
Before students are split into groups, the teacher will have them complete the introduction as a class. The students will think about what the book was about and what they can do to introduce their musical composition. Students should also think about a way they can add a beat or movement to their introduction.
Students will then be split into groups of three and the teacher will read the section of the book that they are using again. This section is
- On Monday he ate through one apple but he was still hungry
- On Tuesday he ate through two pears but he was still hungry
- On Wednesday he ate through three plums but he was still hungry
- On Thursday he ate through four strawberries but he was still hungry
- On Friday, he ate through five oranges but he was still hungry
- On Saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon, that night he had a stomach ache
- The next day was Sunday again, the caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf and after that he felt much better
Students will be given time to work on their part of the composition. Once they are finished, the teacher will ask for a spokesperson from each group to say their line and demonstrate their movement to the beat. Each group will have the opportunity to teach it to the rest of the class. However, during the performance of the composition, just the group that came up with the movements will be responsible for saying and performing that section.
The teacher will then ask students how they should come up with a B part. The teacher will ask the students to think about something short and sweet that will help make their composition even better. The students will share their ideas and the class will come up with the B part. The students will then come up with a coda for their composition.
The teacher will have the students put together all parts of the composition and practice it a few times. The teacher can then choose to record the students performing their composition and the actions.
Once the class has performed the composition, the teacher will have the students answer a few questions about their experience in their journals. The questions are
- What is your overall feeling about the composition?
- Did your group work well together?
- What is your favorite part of our class composition?
- What is something you would change about the class composition?
By having the students answer these questions, the teacher is able to get feedback on whether or not the students enjoyed the composition process and if they were able to understand it.
The Hungry Caterpillar Composition:
(The Introduction, B Part and Coda are all to be said in a I say you say format, the teacher or a student volunteer will say the line first and then the other students will follow.)
(To be said while the students are snapping their fingers)
Teacher- There was a hungry caterpillar
Students- There was a hungry caterpillar
Teacher- He ate so much food
Students- He ate so much food
Teacher- I'd like to tell you his story
Students- I'd like to tell you his story
Teacher- So here it goes
Students- So here it goes
Group 1: (Clap the whole time the line is being said) On Monday he ate through one apple (take fist and pretend you are taking a bite out of an apple) but he was still hungry (pat your belly)
Group 2: (Stomp the whole time the line is being said) On Tuesday he ate through two (hold up number two with fingers) pears but he was still hungry (rub belly)
Group 3: (Snap fingers and clap hands the entire time the line is being said) On Wednesday he ate through three plums (clap) but he was still hungry (shake head)
Group 4: (Snap fingers the whole time line is being said) On Thursday he ate through four strawberries (Count 1, 2, 3, 4) but he was still hungry (hold out hands as if asking for food)
Group 5: (Clap hands the entire time the line is being said) On Friday, he ate through five (jump in the air) oranges but he was still hungry (pat belly)
Group 6: (Stomp, clap, the entire time the line is being said) On Saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon, (count food on fingers while saying) that night he had a stomach ache (hold belly and say owww)
Group 7: (Pat thighs the entire time the line is being said) The next day was Sunday again, the caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf (hold palms out and pretend to chomp through hand) and after that he felt much better (everyone shouts yay!)
(Students continue snapping their fingers)
Teacher: That was a hungry caterpillar
Students: That was hungry caterpillar
Teacher: But he's not done yet
Students: But he's not done yet
Repeat A Part:
(Students continue snapping their fingers once again)
Teacher: That very hungry caterpillar
Students: That very hungry caterpillar
Teacher: Well, he went through a lot
Students: Well he went through a lot
Teacher: Now he's different
Student: Now he's different
(Teacher and students pat their thighs quickly)
Teacher and Students: Because...
Teacher and Students: He's a butterfly!
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (1989)
1. Be Proactive (Responsibility/Initiative)
2. Begin With the End in Mind (Vision/Values)
3. Put First Things First (Integrity/Execution)
4. Think Win-Win (Mutual Respect/Benefit)
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood (Mutual Understanding)
6. Synergize (Creative Cooperation)
7. Sharpen the Saw (Renewal)
The Eighth Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen Covey (2004)
8. Find Your Voice, Inspire Others to Find Theirs (Affirm Worth; Unleash Potential)
The second video is of a teacher who created a song to the book for her class. This is a great example of a piggy back song and could be an example used to show the children a little bit of what they are doing. Also, teachers could use this song with their students if they like although it helps children learn even more if they create their own lyrics like in the project above. Still this video is a great resource for both teachers and students.