Introduction: "The Caterpillar" is a descriptive, funny poem about the life of a caterpillar. This would be a wonderful poem to use during an insect unit. If you have caterpillars hatching in your classroom (which I've done before) this would be a good poem to read to your class, then place next to the hatching butterflies.
The caterpillar's not a cat.
It's very small
And short and fat,
And with those beady eyes
Will never win a beauty prize.
The caterpillar's brain is small-
It only knows to eat and crawl.
But for this creepy bug don't cry,
It soon will be a butterfly.
From "Beast Feast"
by Douglas Florian
(Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994)
Extension: Students would enjoy creating butterfly prints using colorful paints and white paper. To create butterfly prints, the teacher precuts butterfly shapes that are folded in half. Students may paint one or both sides of the butterfly then fold in half (painted sides together). When student pulls paper apart, the butterfly print is complete. This poem could be glued on the back of the butterfly (once it is dry) for students to share with parents and siblings.