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For generations, The Grouchy Ladybug has delighted readers of all ages with the story of a bad-tempered bug who won’t say “please” or “thank you,” won’t share, and thinks she is bigger and better than anyone else. Readers will love how this testy ladybug introduces them to many new animals and learns that maybe being grouchy isn’t always the best option.

from The Grouchy Ladybug on

Eric Carle’s book, The Grouchy Ladybug, presents a myriad of learning possibilities. Our The Grouchy Ladybug unit study captures some of these lessons that you can teach your student.

The Grouchy Ladybug Unit Study Lessons

Printables are provided in The Grouchy Ladybug unit study download. Many of the lessons rely on the printables.

Math: Ladybug Cards
 Use the ladybug and number cards for the following activities:
 1. Match the card with the right amount of spots to the number.  You could even turn this into a memory/concentration game with your student.
 2. Use the cards for addition problems. For example, give your student the ladybug with three spots and the ladybug with four spots; ask her to add them together and give you the card with the correct number, the seven.
 3. Have your student put the cards in order 1-10. 

Math: Counting by 5s 
In preparation for learning how to tell time, you may want to teach your younger student how to skip count by 5s using the ladybug counting cards (each ladybug has five spots).

Math:  Telling Time 
After you’ve read the story a few times, read it again with the clock (found in printables section). As you read, ask your student match the time on the clock to the time in The Grouchy Ladybug.

Laminate this page for durability. Make a pattern for your student with the pattern pieces. Let your student continue the pattern. Let your student experiment with the pattern pieces to make his own patterns, too!

Snack: Ladybug Apple
Slice an apple in half (lengthwise) and lay with cut side down on a plate.  Add raisins for ladybug spots using peanut butter for the glue.  Use a grape for the ladybug’s head and attach with a toothpick.

Literacy: Letter L
Review or introduce the letter L with the L is for Ladybug shape book. L pictures include: leaf, lion, lips, and lemon.

Literacy: Letter Matching
Match the upper and lowercase letters using the ABC Ladybugs. You can also use the ABC ladybugs to put the alphabet in order. Store the ladybugs in an envelope.

Science: Ladybugs and Insects
Read the author’s note at the beginning of the book.  An excellent book to read together is Are You a Ladybug? by Judy Dunn.  

Science: Whales
Just how big is a whale compared to a ladybug?  If you have room in your house, this may be a fun activity for you and your students.  I’m not sure what kind of whale is in this story, so I just chose a medium sized whale.

Gray whales are medium sized whales, reaching up to 45 feet in length. Males grow to 45 feet–longer than a city bus–and females are slightly larger. The average weight of a gray whale is 16 tons (32,000 pounds) and some have reached weights of 30 to 40 tons. (information from Measure 45 ft. in your house.  Let your student scoot a roll of toilet paper from the beginning of your measurement until the end. Then, get something that is about the size of a ladybug (a bead, a button, etc.). Compare it to the whale!

Label the ladybug diagram provided.

Read some books about insects with your student. Complete the Insects mini book. Complete the “Who Is Who?” page.

Your student may want to learn about the other insects mentioned in this book, too. Check out some books from your local library and read them together.

To access all of the lessons and printables in this The Grouchy Ladybug unit study, subscribe to Homeschool Share’s email list using the form in this post.

How to Get Started with The Grouchy Ladybug Unit Study and Printables

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the The Grouchy Ladybug.

  1. Buy a copy of the book, The Grouchy Ladybug, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the The Grouchy Ladybug unit study.
  3. Choose the activities you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the printables you want to use with your student. You can use these printables for a The Grouchy Ladybug lapbook or interactive notebook.
  5. Enjoy a week of hands-on learning with your student.

Download Your The Grouchy Ladybug Unit Study and Printables

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More Eric Carle Insect Unit Studies

We have free units and printables for Eric Carle’s insect-themed books, including crickets, fireflies, butterflies, and spiders (not technically an insect, but your student will learn the difference!).

The Very Quiet Cricket Unit Study & Lapbook
The Very Lonely Firefly Unit Study & Lapbook
The Very Busy Spider Unit Study & Lapbook
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Unit Study & Printables