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Activity and strategy

Adapting the Hungry Caterpillar for Children Who Are Blind

Tips to adapt books for children who are deafblind, blind, or visually impaired

My 6-year-old son Liam, who is deafblind, brought this little reader home in his backpack from school.  It is a simplified version of the “Hungry Caterpillar” story that is written by Eric Carle.  I thought this story would be a perfect story to adapt for Liam.  I loved that the story included days of the week and counting; all things that Liam is working on in school.  I also love the fact that it includes a cute caterpillar eating different foods because I knew my son would enjoy that.smiley

paper caterpillar
Here are a few things I did to modify and adapt this story into something that is accessible and enjoyable for my son:
  • Changed the foods to foods that I could easily find at home to glue on the pages, I chose foods that he would already know and that had a ‘fun tactile feel’  to it  (I did make a trip to the ‘Dollar Store’ to get a few fun pieces like the ‘big apple’ and the ‘squishy grapes’.
  • I added braille. 
  • I created a tactile ‘picture’ of the Hungry Caterpillar that can be used to act out the caterpillar eating the food on each page.
  • I created the story on sturdy chipboard pages.  

liam in green shirt using his adapted caterpillar bookliam in green short using caterpillar adapted bookliam in green shirt with hungry caterpillar adapted book

example page of caterpillar page with crackers glued onsample page of hungry caterpillar adaptation with red applesample page of hungry caterpillar book with butterflies



Adapting Hungry Catepillar collage

hungry caterpillar collage


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