Is that fiction or non-fiction?
A butterfly emerges from a cocoon. A butterfly's caterpillar munches lollipops. A caterpillar is a larva.
￼What a wonderfully entertaining book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", Eric Carle wrote and illustrated! So many students are familiar with his story of the little caterpillar that ate its way through a strawberry, salami, piece of cake and more on the way to becoming a beautiful butterfly. Is this really true? Is it fiction or non-fiction? As students gain more detailed knowledge of a butterfly's life cycle they will be able to identify information in the story that differentiates fiction from non-fiction.
With this packet students will become authors and illustrators that create their own non-fiction version of "The Very Hungry Larva" and then reflect on their understanding of the difference between fiction/non-fiction and their appreciation of what they wrote.
What's in the packet?
1 - Template to make books for students to create their own 14 page version of "The Very Hungry Larva". Each page is one half sheet of 8x11 copy paper. These 14 pages are copied back to back so that the completed book require 7 sheets of copy paper per book.
2 - Instruction page with complete assembly instructions.
3 - Student personal reflection paper to use with their newly-created book. Worksheet has places for the student to show what was fiction in Eric Carle's story, why their newly-created story is non-fiction, and which part of their book they liked best and why.
4 -Guide Chart to point out key butterfly life cycle facts and suggestions that may be used to help assure the students' books are non-fiction.
Literature Connection and Book Needed: "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
After studying butterfly life cycles, rewriting and creating their own version of "The Very Hungry Larva" is a fun way to assess students' knowledge.
1 - Introduce the book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", by asking who has enjoyed reading this book. Many hands will likely go up! Ask the students to listen and enjoy as you share the book BUT think like a butterfly expert as to whether this information is all accurate/true.
2 - After reading, brainstorm a list on the board/chart paper of what they thought was not true and true in the book. Have students help to name the labels for the two headings: FICTION and NON-FICTION.
List students' observations and suggestions under the proper heading.
See the packet guide sheet for suggestions. Students always amazed me with their ideas that were too many to list on this guide sheet!
3 - Introduce the idea of writing their own version of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in a non-fiction format. Share their newly assembled books where they will write and illustrate. Remind them to use the lists that the class brainstormed together for suggestions and any other interactive notebooks they may have for accurate reference.
4 - Book writing and illustrating may take several days for completion.
5 - Share completed books in literature circles or in a special place in the class library for all to read and enjoy again and again!