Twelve Months (Plus!) of There Was an Old Lady

Wanna know a secret? I LOVE singable stories. Ok, it’s not really a secret at all. I have talked about them over and over again. I have also made super fun videos with them here, here and here.

I also love to use the same song for multiple themes and seasons of the year. For example my letters song. Change one sentence and BOOM! A song easily adaptable for the whole year round.

So I was thrilled when I discovered the Old Lady Series. I had no idea that so many existed until I sat down to do the research. I was so surprised. At the moment, my list is up to 20 books and I’m sure there are plenty more.

The most popular is the Scholastic Series written by Lucille Colando and illustrated by Jared Lee. So we’ll start there.

1. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

2. There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow

3. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Rose

4. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover

5. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Frog

6. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Chick

7. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Shell

8. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Desk

9. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed some Books

10. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed some Leaves

11. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat

12. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Turkey

13. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bell

There are many others that aren’t necessarily a series but wonderful nonetheless.

14. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly

15. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed the Sea

16. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Trout

17. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pie

18. There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Dreidel

19. There Was a Coyote who Swallowed a Flea

20. There Was an Old Texan who Swallowed a Fly

Why this series?

Kids love repetition, repetition, repetition. They just can’t get enough of the melody and format of these songs. It’s easy to transition from book to book because each book follows a predictable pattern. Once they have learned the melody and format, it easily transfers to the next book.

Vocabulary building. There are literally hundreds of opportunities to learn new words centered around themes in these books.

Sequencing. This format requires the reader to recall the presented items in a a certain order as it progresses. What better way to work on sequencing skills especially when paired with pictures!

Comprehension questions. Most of these books are perfect for answering “why” questions. Granted the “whys” are often silly but you will have ample opportunities to ask “Why did she swallow the ….?”

Perfect for all ability levels. Some of my clients are working on using a voice output device or just singing to fill in a repetitive line when the music stops to indicate his or her turn. For others, we are working on recall and comprehension as discussed above. I have also been able to turn this book into a tactile sensory experience for children with visual impairments and low cognitive functioning by making an old lady puppet and gathering the items that she swallows for them to feel as we sing.

Are you using these books?

If you are, which are your favorites? Are there other ways you have been integrating this series into your work? Leave me a comment and let me know. You can also get another 25 singable story recommendations (all my faves!) by subscribing below.

Til Next Time,

Mary

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