I notice that the book has a picture of a caterpillar on the cover and the word metamorphosis. This excites me, and I get ready to listen to them tell me what I assume they know about caterpillars and then show them this really cool new word. I ask the group, what happens to caterpillars? One of the boys, who usually gets the giggles but is not laughing at the moment, raises his hand and tells me—very matter-of-factly—"They get squashed." I start laughing before I even think about it. They do? I ask. I hope they don't get squashed!
Then the boy and his giggle buddy start laughing and banging their fists on the table and saying, "Squash!" I try to regain composure and turn to the little girl next to me who, trying to collect her words and forgetting the word cocoon, finally spits out: "It changes into a butterfly." Okay, I say, that sounds better than getting squashed.
We then proceed to try and read chapter one about a caterpillar named Tim, and as we are reading I can't help thinking that I hope Tim doesn't get squashed in the story. Well, as we are reading along (I read the words in fine print and the kids read the big, bold words), one girl comments: "He's fat!"
"I am NOT!" shouts one of the boys. Then I calmly explain to him that she was talking about the caterpillar, who is indeed fat and getting fatter by the minute.