Grade: Elementary
Subject: Literature

#733. Charlie, the Caterpillar - An Integration of Lit. and Music

Literature, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Dec 4 13:52:08 PST 1998 by Sandra (
Lebanon Elementary School, Lebanon, CT
Activity Time: 20 minutes
Concepts Taught: Integrating Literature and Music

Instrumental Accompaniment, Dramatics and Song


Charlie, The Caterpillar

Integration of literature, music and drama

Charlie, the Caterpillar by Dom Deluise
xylophone and mallets
rubber band guitar
child's party noisemaker or finger cymbals

Begin by teaching the students each of the cue words (listed below). Once the students have learned the words, assign the instrumental parts and have the remaining students dramatize the non-instrumental parts. The whole class sings the song together. Have several practice turns with the teacher randomly calling out words and the appropriate students responding. When it seems as though the students are comfortable with their parts, read Charlie, the Caterpillar aloud, incorporating the instruments, drama, and song.

"giddada here" -- turn ratchet handle one time

"monkeys" -- alternating mallets on xylophone, skipping
from low C to high A on random notes

"rabbits" -- pluck rubber band guitar three times

"mice" -- shake party toy several times or play finger cymbals

"birds" -- ring hand held bells, arms moving from low level to high
level to simulate flight

"snow fall" -- gently rub sand blocks together, arms moving from
high level to low level to simulate falling snow

"fun" -- raise arms straight up, wiggle fingers and shake hands
in a celebratory manner

"looked to the left" -- shade eyes and dramatically look to the left

"looked to the right" -- shade eyes and dramatically look to the right

"went straight ahead" -- sing the following ( this is an original song, feel free to make up your own tune as you go along)
Oh well you look to the left and then you look to the right,
You've got to know all is clear, that there is nothing in sight,
And then you walk--Left, Right, Left
And then you walk--Left, Right, Left

(You may also want to add this in at the very end of the story to wrap the book up as a whole class.)

This is a fun way to keep reading fresh and exciting. Almost any book can be used in this manner, and the final product is always fun to use at a presentation or concert. This format can be adapted to any age level. It can be narrated by the teacher or by the children, or the entire creation can be left in the children's hands with some simple guidelines. Give it a try.