Learning the days of the week with Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a delightful book which provides lessons on numbers, days of the week, fruits, food and the life cycle of a butterfly.

For teachers and mothers with children five years old and below, this is a resource material that can be used for two to four weeks noting the variety of lessons it offers. Trust me, you do not need to be a homeschooling Mom to do this. If you have a printer at home, then this is easy for you.

I am a big supporter of literature-based lesson plans and I often use books to teach my children lessons on Science, Math, English and Values.

All three children are now familiar with the life cycle of a butterly. Even Jeff Jr. can enumerate the stages in his sleep. They know the numbers and fruits too. For this week, as we are on house arrest following the outbreak of hand-foot-and-mouth disease at Casa Ruffolo Uno, we will be learning the days of the week.

Making flashcards of the days of the week. Free printable materials from Little Dots Education.


In The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the week started on a Sunday morning when the “warm sun came and popped, out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”

It went through the whole week narrating what the caterpillar ate until Sunday came again and the “little caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf and he felt much better.”

The Internet is a treasure trove of materials and resources to teach the days of the week with The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the anchor book. I usually make my own activities but for this lesson, I found these free printable materials from Little Dots Education really useful.

Here is a sample of what we did:

We made flashcards of the days of the week and this colorful wheel within one hour. The three mutants sat still the entire coloring stage and then we reviewed the days of the week.

Just a gentle reminder to parents, teachers and caregivers: Do not sweat over the non-perfect coloring skill of the children. Let them be. Let them color. Let them pick the crayons. Let them choose the colors. If they do not want to color just yet, let them be. They will return to the table in time especially when they see that the other kids are having fun coloring.

Also, we tend to be critical about the colors they use. Apple has to be red, right?

Ah, no. They might pick a color, say black, and use that to color the apple. Teach them that apples have varities of color (e.g. green, yellow, red) but do not criticize them for using black. Gently share to them the lesson.

As always, have fun. Have lots of fun! Learning happens when its fun!