The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish: Activities and Resources

The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish: Activities and Resources

Inside: Resources and ideas for teaching The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish. 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has to be one of the most endearing picture books out there. Lucky for us, almost all of Eric Carle’s iconic works are available in Spanish as well! My own kids truly never seem to tire of his books, and our copy of La oruga muy hambrienta is beyond well-worn. 

In this post I’m gathering resources for teaching Spanish through La oruga muy hambrienta. It’s the perfect book for covering numbers, colors, fruits, some foods, days of the week, and high-frequency words like come, es, tiene hambre, grande, pequeño, etc. 

There are two directions you can with a book like this, and Spanish learners. You can teach them every single phrase so they understand the original language, or you can teach the words they need to understand the story. I usually choose the second option, focusing on the essential, high-frequency needed to narrate the story. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish

 

Los números

 

La oruga hambrienta focuses on numbers 1-5. Here is a great list of numbers songs in Spanish to get started. 

The song Cinco monitos is a perfect tie-in as well. You can check out my freebies and post on activities for los Cinco monitos.

One of my favorite games for practicing any vocabulary is musical cards. For that one, pass out cards with 1-5 written on them. Play music, and have the students walk or dance around while holding their cards. When the music stops, call out a number. All the kids with that number sit down, and see which students stay in until the end. 

 

Las frutas

 

I like to focus on the fruits in the book, since several of the other foods are not so high frequency. Besides using real fruit or play food to talk about them (how many? what color?), I like to do a graph of favorites. If you are working with a small group, you can have the students ask their family members or friends (¿Cuál fruta te gusta más?) and color in a graph. 

Here is a video for learning the fruits:

 

Los colores

 

The colors aren’t directly part of the story, but they’re an easy tie-in with each fruit being a different color. You can see my lesson and activities for colors in Spanish, or keep it simple with the same game described above for numbers. 

Here’s a freebie from my Orugas y Mariposas unit, too! You can work on both numbers and colors to add circles to the caterpillar (try using a bottle cap as a stamp for paint). 

Los días de la semana

 

Of course, you can’t teach this book without the days of the week! The days can be an abstract concept for very young kids, so keep that in mind. If you are working with K-2 students it will be a bit easier. I recommend starting with a días de la semana song. You can also display a calendar with the days of the week, and discuss what your students do on which day. 

Once you have read the actual story, you can do some sequencing activities to show what the caterpillar ate on which day.

 

 

Ciclo de vida de la mariposa

 

Once you have read the story (or before), it’s fun to learn about the life cycle of butterflies. Here are two free PPTs I made to learn about caterpillars and butterflies (the life cycle PPT is part of the unit on TpT). 

 

 

 

Once you’ve worked on caterpillar and butterfly facts, it’s fun to do a simple wheel or craft to show each stage in the life cycle. There are sooo many ideas on Pinterest for this!

 

Related videos for The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish

 

 

 

 

Want to See My Unit?

 

I’ve made picture cards, games, mini-books, printables, displays, stories, and PPTs all about Orugas and Mariposas. Teaching this unit will set your students up with the essential vocabulary they need to understand La oruga hambrienta. 

The Numbers in Spanish for Kids: Fun Learning Activities

The Numbers in Spanish for Kids: Fun Learning Activities

Inside: Lesson and activities to learn the numbers in Spanish with kids.

Lesson 11 Goals: I can count 0-15 in Spanish.

Target Structures: cero, uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez, once, doce, trece, catorce, quince

(Secondary terms: el mono, la cama, se cae)

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant.

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre and salta, Duck, Duck, Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

 

Lesson 5 Numbers in Spanish Activities

 

Activity 1

 

Introduce numbers 1-5 with the song Cinco monitos. 

 

Activity 2

 

Act out the song Cinco monitos with props or finger puppets. You could choose someone for mamá, and someone for el doctor. Use props like a phone or stethoscope if you have them. Sing or play the song, and let them act out. To make it super-visual, lay down a sheet for la cama, and they act out saltando and se cae.

Or, print out my freebie Cinco monitos titeres, and act out the song that way. 

cinco monitos

 

 

Activity 3

 

Once numbers 1-5 are down, choose a song for the numbers 1-10, or 1-20. There are many to choose from on YouTube (linked below!) You could also sing to the tune of One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians as Uno, dos, tres pollitos (or monitos!). Finger puppets are provided in the activity pack for either way. You can line up the students, and they lift their puppet finger as part of the song.

 

Activity 4

 

Play an alternative to”Musical Chairs.” Hand out enough number cards for everyone (it’s fine if some students have the same numbers). Play music and the students can dance or walk around. When the music stops, call out a  number. Whoever has that number sits down. The last ones standing win.

Supplemental Numbers in Spanish Resources:

Another cama song like Cinco monitos, with numbers 1-10 this time:

Song for learning numbers 1-20:

Authentic children’s song in Spanish (Chocolate) that repeats 1, 2, and 3:

Another classic children’s song in Spanish with counting:

And one more authentic song in Spanish with numbers!:

Want More?

Click to purchase the whole unit. You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!

With Unit 4, you’ll get a class set of game cards and Bingo for numbers 0-15. You can also make mini-books, on the Cinco monitos, and with farm animals. 

Buenas Noches: A Preschool Goodnight in Spanish Lesson

Buenas Noches: A Preschool Goodnight in Spanish Lesson

Inside: A preschool lesson with activities for good morning and goodnight in Spanish, sleeping and waking up, with activities for Spanish learners.

Lesson 10 Goals: I can talk about sleeping and waking up.

Target Structures: duerme, se despierta, les da, busca, la cama, el oso (review: buenas noches, buenos días)

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre and salta, Duck, Duck Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

 

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Lesson 10 Buenas Noches Activities

Activity 1

 

Show and discuss the mini-story Pablito no duerme.

To prep the story, you might gather some common items children sleep with and talk about them, or have the kids bring a special item they like to take to bed. You could also do a class graph: ¿Duermes con un oso? ¿Duermes con una manta especial?

In this story, the little boy asks for several things before going to sleep. After telling the story, it would be fun to act it out with props, and have a child pretend to be going to bed. You could change some of the details (for example, his mom doesn’t give him a cookie– she gives him an apple). 

 

Activity 2

 

Play a version of Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?, to get in repetitions of duerme, despiértate, and busca. To go along with the unit, we’ll call it Gallina, gallina, ¡busca tu pollito! Here’s how to play!

You Need:

  • A small cut-out of a pollito (a small object will suffice if you don’t have that prepped)
  • A chair, facing away from the rest of the group

To Play:

  • Teacher picks one child to be the “gallina.” The rest of the class sits in a circle or in chairs. 
  • Teacher tells the gallina: “¡duerme!” with the pollito under the chair. 
  • One student is picked form the group to walk up and quietly grab the pollito, then sit back down with the pollito hidden. 
  • Teacher tells the gallina: “¡despiértate!” The gallina has to guess who has the pollito. 
  • The class chants: “Gallina, gallina, ¡busca tu pollito!”
  • The gallina gets 3 chances to guess who has it.
  • If the gallina can’t guess, the class says where it is. Then pick another student!

 

 

Activity 3

 

Show and tell the story Los pollitos y su mamá. This is a long story! Review the vocabulary and make sure that everything is already familiar for your students. 

Activity 4

 

You could also supplement this lesson with the book Buenas noches, Gorila.

Spanglish Schoolhouse has a lesson and cute freebie to go with this book:

Supplemental Buenas noches/ buenos días Activities and Resources

Here are some sweet books for read alouds:  

A collection of Spanish lullabies and folk songs for bedtime, all on YouTube:

spanish lullabies

A nice, clear song with buenas noches repetitions:

Includes buenos días, buenas tardes, and buenas noches:

Pocoyó episode on going to bed, that goes along well with the story Pablito no duerme (also has a pato, which the kids should recognize as they listen!). You could listen to the original and pause to talk about it, or turn the sound down and narrate the video yourself .

Peppa Pig episode on nocturnal animals (especially fun if you have my Unit 4 packet, which studies nocturnal animals!):

Peppa Pig episode on a sleepover with friends. The language is complicated, so you might have to narrate quite a bit:

A silly, highly comprehensible song that teachers me gusta/no me gusta:

Want More?

Click to purchase the whole unit. You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!

In Unit 4, I also have extension activities for reinforcing good morning and good night activities in Spanish. There are PPTs, printables, and a mini-book that study nocturnal animals versus those that eat during the day. 

Lesson 9: Simple Questions in Preschool Spanish

Lesson 9: Simple Questions in Preschool Spanish

Inside: A preschool lesson that introduce asking and answering questions in preschool Spanish, through comprehensible stories and input.

Lesson 9 Goals: I can answer very simple questions about myself.

 

Target Structures: busca, ve, eres, soy

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far and do the ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant. If you are incorporating calendar time, ask about the day, the weather (¿Hace frío o ¿Hace calor?)

Lesson 9 Activities

Activity 1

In the previous eight units, the students have heard es many times. Today, we’ll start working with eres a bit, and try it out with our animal words.

Gather or make some farm animal masks (they’re included in a Unit 3 purchase). Call up a student to try a mask on. Point to them and say, “¡Eres una vaca!” You can ask them questions, too: “¿Eres un pollito? Eres un elefante?”

At the beginning, I don’t worry about answering with soy– sí o no is a good start. If you use this activity over several classes, you can add in asking the class: “Es un caballo?” Throw in other questions, of course, if you want: “El caballo dice muu? Es verde or marrón?” Then go back to the student, “¿Dices muu o nii?”

Activity 2

TPR ve and busca (attach motions to them). There are lots of little games you can play to practice these words. Here are some ideas:

  • Play “I spy” for ve. (If you want, you can play by saying “Veo un…” or “Veo con mi ojito pequeñito…”) Incorporate the colors, and big/small to give clues.
  • Hide some objects in the room. Say, “Uno, dos, tres, busca!” and they try to find them.
  • Have one student leave and give a small object to someone in the room. The student comes back, and everyone chants, “Uno, dos, tres, busca!” The student guesses who has it. You can give clues about which student it is by saying clothing colors.

Activity 3

Project and tell the story La gallina que busca a su pollito.

 

Activity 4

Story-tell using authentic books in Spanish. Oso pardo, oso pardo and ¿Eres mi mamá? would go well with lessons 7-9.

You *can* read the story in the full text, and let the kids see what language they recognize. I recommend narrating the book yourself, using only vocabulary that the students know. Since your students are probably non-readers, you are telling the story; they’re listening and enjoying the pictures.

If you’d like to hear the full story in Spanish, there are some read-alouds from native speakers below. You can always mute the sound and narrate yourself, too!

Stories for Activity 4:

 

Want More?

If you like this lesson, click to purchase the whole unit! You’ll get an editable skit, a printable mini-book, and more.

Preschool Lesson 8: Spanish Days of the Week Activities

Preschool Lesson 8: Spanish Days of the Week Activities

Inside: A preschool lesson for Spanish days of the week activities, through comprehensible stories, songs, and input.

Lesson 8 Goals: I can say the days of the week.

Target Structures: lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado, domingo (optional: hace calor, hace frío, está lloviendo, está nevando, está nublado, hace sol)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far and do the ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant.

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Lesson 8 Activities

Activity 1

Introduce the days of the week as a song. I like to sing them to the tune of Frere Jacques, or the YouTube version by Miss Rosí (see below YouTube links for the song).  

Spanish days of the week activities

Activity 2

Activity 3: Tell the story El cerdito que tiene hambre. You may want to add in gestures and exaggerate here and there to make sure everything is comprehensible, and of course check for understanding as you go.

https://www.slideshare.net/ElisabethAlvarado/el-cerdito-pequeno  

Activity 3

Add calendar time to your classes and use the time to talk about what day it is and what the weather is like. If you want to stay simple, just ask about the weather using hace frío and hace calor, or add in the additional weather terms if desired. We always start off class with the Buenos días song from Lesson 1. Now that the students are learning the days, you can adjust the lyrics like this (credit to for the idea goes to Jane Vander Beek):

Buenos días, hoy es __________. ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo estás? Muy bien, gracias, muy bien gracias, ¿Y usted? ¿Y usted?

 

Activity 4

El cerdito pequeño leads well into the La oruga muy hambrienta. Of course, a lot of the original vocabulary will be out of bounds, so you could narrate the story as a MovieTalk or BookTalk– tell the story using familiar words, so everything you say is comprehensible. If you do want to use the authentic language, then it might be fun to let the kids listen to the book and see what words they can catch.

More Spanish Days of the Week Activities:

 

 

If you want to expand on weather and calendar terms,try these videos:

 

 

 

 

Want More?

If you like this lesson, click to purchase the whole unit! You’ll get a bonus PPT story, printable mini-books, and more.

Preschool Lesson 7: Spanish Opposites

Preschool Lesson 7: Spanish Opposites

Inside: A preschool lesson that introduces the opposites in Spanish, through comprehensible stories, songs, and input.

Lesson 7 Goals: I can describe people and things.

Target Structures: hace frío, hace calor, triste, feliz, grande, pequeño

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far and do the ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant.

Lesson 7 Activities

Activity 1

Introduce hace frío and hace calor with motions. You could show the Opuestos PPT or use real objects.

ntroduce grande and pequeño, and triste and felíz with motions, when the students are ready (possibly after activities 3 and 4). Practice the words by using real objects or using the PPT below.

Activity 2

Play Hace frío, Hace calor. Have one student close their eyes, and hide an object. Say hace calor if they are getting closer, and hace frío if they are getting farther from the object.

This might take quite a bit of modeling, but will be a fun review or closing game in future lessons.

Activity 3

Project and tell the story El gato y el perro. Stop to ask questions and check for understanding as necessary.

Activity 4

Activity 5: Project and tell the story El patito pequeño. Stop to ask questions and check for understanding as needed.

Stories for Activity 4:

 

Want More?

If you like this lesson, click to purchase the whole unit! You’ll get an editable skit, a printable mini-book, and more.

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