Colourful Semantics and The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Why are Colourful Semantics important?

This book is just brilliant for so many reasons. Key phrases repeated throughout, the lifecycle of a butterfly, sequencing numbers and days of the week, healthy foods...the list is endless.

I am teaching a small class each afternoon and the children have really varying levels of communication and understanding. My aim was to begin developing 4 key word sentences to begin teaching sentence structure and increasing vocabulary. Our topic book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and I decided to create a colourful semantics literacy lesson using the story.

Colourful semantics is aimed at teaching children grammar by teaching them the meaning of different words (semantics) through colour, created by Alison Bryan. You can find out more by googling this term. This chapter is also really useful as an introduction. 

The colours are key and if you do any book, they need to remain consistent. The best advice I can offer is to seek out your speech and language therapist and ask them for advice. I am sharing it in this blog, as sometimes I feel that we don't always know what exists, so how can we ask for it?

  • Orange - who
  • Yellow - what doing
  • Green - what
  • Blue - where

For this story...

  • Orange - who (the caterpillar)
  • Yellow - what doing (eats)
  • Green - what (one apple)
  • Blue - where (on Monday)

I have created some resources to accompany this and if you would like us to send them to you, email us: