There Was An Old Lady...
Use these storybook twists on a favorite rhyme to build your students’ reading fluency and strengthen word skills
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
While we may never know why she swallowed that fly, zany storybook spin-offs about everyone's favorite old lady provide the perfect opportunity to teach readers at every level.
Begin by reading aloud a few versions of this side-splitting tale (try Lucille Colandro's There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! for a seasonal twist) and creating a chart to compare and contrast the versions with your students. Then use any of these four activities.
Write a New Ending
Write a New Version Using the There Was an Old Lady Reproducible (PDF)
"Old Lady" Resources
- There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! by Lucille Colandro, illustrated by Jared Lee (Scholastic, 2003). What will happen when a cold lady decides to swallow snow, a hat, and some coal?
- There Was a Bold Lady Who Wanted a Star, by Charise Mericle Harper (Little Brown, 2002). Nothing's stopping this charming bold lady, who doesn't let anything get in the way of her dream.
- I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello, by Barbara S. Garriel, illustrated by John O'Brien (Boyds Mills, 2004). In this symphonic take, our bashful hero munches his way through an orchestra!
- I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, by Allison Jackson (Penguin, 1997). Jackson's yummy version of the story is perfect for Thanksgiving reading.
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Trout! by Teri Sloat (Henry Holt, 2002). Native American-inspired illustrations are the backdrop for this oceanic feast.