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Training: The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Choreographer instructions

Please see the written information below the video.


To play the video in sync with the voiceover instructions: 

  1. Type the password in to the video if required
  2. Press play on the voiceover
  3. Listen to the spoken instructions, and press play on the video when instructed

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
If the volume of the video is quiet you can turn up the five vertical bars on the Vimeo bar at the bottom of the video which are a volume control. (And your computer volume as well of course!)


Bringing Books to Life - the Very Hungry Caterpillar

1) Warm Up

2) Games
a) Caterpillar to Caterpillar
b) Space Game (use this game to start setting the dance up and get them moving around as their different sizes of caterpillar with out touching each other, see below) 

Ask the Children how they would make a very small caterpillar (on the floor) a medium caterpillar (on their knees) and a larger caterpillar (standing up on tip toes). Tell them to move slowly as caterpillars don’t move quickly and also get them to think about how a caterpillar scrunches up in the middle and then elongates again (contraction in the tummy).

Then play the music and get them to move around as the small one, tell them to eat and then grow to middle size, move around, then eat and grow to the bigger one and move around, then finish as a fat caterpillar with stomach ache (feet apart arms wide and fat sick face)

Now ask the children what the caterpillar needs to eat to make him feel better. A leaf. Ask the children to make a circle standing up holding hands as the shape of a leaf.

Get the children to make a circle as quickly as possible, count up the way getting higher in the register as you count up. If they took 15secs (for example) to make the leaf ask them if they think they can make it in under 15secs. Ask the children to walk around as the bigger caterpillar, then their position as a fat caterpillar, and when you call leaf they have to make the circle as quickly as they can. Do this a couple of times with the music. Ask the children to remember this position is the leaf.

With older children (yr1 and yr2) get the children to keep holding hands and all turn in an anti clockwise direction. You will just step out of the circle and ask them to all face around the circle this way, and point and go around the circle making sure the are facing the same way. Ask them to now walk around in a circle (not overtaking each other and still holding hands) like a rippling caterpillar munching on the leaf. Get them to move up and down slowly and controlled.

With nursery and reception (unless reception are very quick into circle in which case do the above version) just have them stay facing the circle and get them to munch side, down, side and up, like they are drawing a circle with their noses.

From the leaf, ask them to make their cocoon. Ensure they spread out, find a space and face front, before they go into their ball on the floor.

Dance section –Turned into a Butterfly

1-4 nibble cocoon (the more tell them that’s what the caterpillar does, theirs heads are down so wont really see it)
5-8 head looking out (breaking out of cocoon)

1-4 right arm unfolds to a wing
5-8 left arm unfolds to a wing

1-4 arms up over head and down to shoulder height, kneel up
5-8 repeat arms and come to standing. (it’s important to get the arms going from shoulder height to touching above the head and back to shoulder height again. Tell them to think about how a butterfly uses their wings and they touch together and open, not flapping like a bird)

1-4 step together step (on your leaf looking for a flower) or step turn step for yr2
5-8 little jumped step step x2 with arms over head and down (careful not to fall off the leaf as the butterfly learns to balance and fly)

1-8 repeat step together (or turn) step and little jump step to the other side

1 Jump feet together (preparing to fly)
3-4 point to a flower
5-8 step onto heal step behind and step onto heal step together, using upper body (I’m a happy butterfly)

1-8 repeat other way, Jump feet together, point and I’m a happy caterpillar

1-4 step together step together towards front corner, shoop shoop arms
5-8 repeat to other corner

1-4 turn on yourself
5-8 yawn as you go to the floor, back into ball on last beat/pow look up happy face, hand under chin (it’s a new morning and the butterfly is off to fly again, happy he hasn’t turned back into a caterpillar again!)


Do this section with the music. Then you can start at the top and teach them the first section, as they are already in the ball they need to be in for the start.

All children start in a ball as an egg.

1-6 nothing/intro
1-6 head looks out (popping out of the egg as a baby caterpillar)
1-6 yawn (caterpillar waking up,)
1-6 looking up and point from left across to right (seeing a butterfly in the sky)
1-6 point to them selves, pray/please hands, butterfly hands (saying ‘I want to be a butterfly” the movement for the butterfly in this section is important to get right and you can tell the children it is sign language for butterfly. The palms should be facing towards you with the thumbs linked and the hands move across the body as you flap)
1-6 rub tummy and sigh (I’m hungry sad faces. Cause not sure what to do)
1-6 idea finger, have an idea that you need to find food.

This then leads into the caterpillar moving around eating and growing, into leaf, into cocoon, into dance.

Then you can do it all the way through with the music to practice and then perform it for the teachers.

Make sure you know the music really well as it is tricky to count where the edit is, so the children will be looking to follow you and your words.