The Very Hungry Caterpillar is not only a classic for young children. It is a great book for teaching children how to build algorithms. It has a series of events that are really easy for children to follow and remember. (If your children haven’t had the opportunity to hear or read the story they are in for a treat.) Each day The Very Hungry Caterpillar eats something different as it prepares to become a butterfly. On the Hungry Caterpillar Algorithm worksheet I created children will need to go from the caterpillar to each of the food he ate to his becoming a butterfly. You will notice I didn’t include all the foods that he ate on his hungriest day. Instead I just drew a picture of the salami. After moving up, down, left or right to get to each of the food, children will need to make their way to the butterfly.
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I usually fill out my own algorithm coding sheet as my students or son work on theirs. It helps us to stay on track and not get lost. You totally don’t have to do that. After explaining what to do, you could put out a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar along with a pencil and the worksheet. Your children could refer back to the book when they needed to remember just when he ate each food item . I bet they would be able to complete the coding algorithm on their own.
If your children need to get up and move, you could put the food and butterfly pictures on index cards. Your children could space the cards out on the floor. Then they could tell you how they would get to each one. They would still get to work on direction words up, down, left or right.
Here are some other coding activities that you can do with young children:
You will find more coding activities like this The Very Hungry Caterpillar Algorithm activity on my Early Learning Math board on Pinterest.