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Hands-On Lessons

Grouchy Ladybug Mobile

Give storybook character the Grouchy Ladybug something to be cheerful about! This resourceful activity will teach students about antonyms and synonyms and make the classroom a brighter place.

Students will read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle and will make their own ladybug mobiles using recycled materials.

Elmer’s Glue-All*, Elmer’s Glitter Glue*, empty egg cartons, colorful construction paper, water bottle caps, black pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes (optional), scissors, ribbon, paintbrushes, black and red paint, wire hangers


1. Before the lesson begins, make the bodies of the ladybugs from an empty egg carton by cutting the bottom of the egg carton apart so only the cups remain. Give each student two cups.

2. Cut pieces of yarn, varying in length from approximately two to three feet, and pass around so each student has one piece.

3. Read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle aloud to students and have a discussion about the main character, the ladybug who won’t say “please” or “thank you,” doesn’t share, and has a bad temper.

4. Teach students about antonyms and synonyms, and give some examples from the book. For example, start with the word rude. Explain that a synonym of the word rude would be uncivil or impolite, and an antonym would be kind or courteous.

5. Next, have students make a list of key words from the book that describe the grouchy ladybug and her mood. Then, instruct them to brainstorm a list of antonyms for each of the key words.

6. Students can write down the words on tiny slips of paper (to later go inside the ladybug bodies that will hang on the mobile).


1. To begin, have students paint the outside of their two egg-carton cups red with black spots. Let dry.


2. Next, instruct students to trace and cut the ladybug wings from colorful construction paper, then decorate them using Elmer’s Glitter Glue and 3D Washable Paint Pens in 3D Glitters. Let dry.

3. Instruct students to glue their piece of ribbon to the center of the wings. Later, you will fasten the ribbon to a hanger.

4. To make the ladybug’s head, have students paint the cap of a water bottle black. Then, instruct them to use Elmer’s Glue-All to glue the cap to the center of one of the egg-carton cups. For an extra embellishment, add wiggle eyes and antennae to the head. To make the antennae, cut black pipe cleaners into two-inch strips and curl. Let dry.

5. Next, instruct students to place their slip of paper inside one of the egg-carton cups, then line the rim of each egg-carton cup with Elmer’s Glue-All.

6. Slide the paper wings in between the cups, and firmly press the cups together.

7. Once all of the glue has dried, fasten the strings of yarn to hangers for hanging.



*Elmer's®, Elmer's Glue-All®, and Elmer's® Glitter Glue are all registered trademarks of Elmer's® Products, Inc.
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