The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, You Must Try

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One of our all time favorite classic read-aloud stories is There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Illustrations by Simms Taback.  This version is so colorful and entertaining. Our kids enjoy watching the cut out circle that shows you what the old lady has eaten and a preview of what is to come on the next page.
Scholastic also has a great video with music to read along with and watch. They have more great activitiy ideas to go along with this book.
I found this great puppet in a teacher's store 12 years ago and decided to get it for my mother-in-law as a gift since she collected puppets that went with books. Large Puppet by Alma's Design
I always wanted my own once I had kids but could never afford it so I decided to make my own. Here is what I came up with, using the real puppet as an example (with no pattern). I found cute calico fabric, brownish grey yarn for hair, great cream lace for trim.  I made sure she has a large tummy to hold all the props. I found other little toys and made a felt cat to use for props for her to eat. The kids love to move her arms to help her eat.
Then, a few years after making the one in brown, I found the original at a yard sale for $3. She was missing her nose but I couldn't pass her up.
There are a variety of new versions written by Lucille Colando, illustrated by Jared D. Lee.
I adapted my props to go with this new book. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves (Perhaps she'll sneeze). She eats some leaves, a shirt, some pants, a pumpkin, a pole, some hay and rope. At the end she does sneeze and the kids all guessed that it would make a scarecrow. The rhyming and illustrations were great again. I borrowed our teacher's extra large version and sat the old lady on my lap while I gave each child a prop to take turns putting it in.  They asked to read it again as they love hands-on activities with books. (As do I.)

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat where she eats a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, "a Thanksgiving pie, which was really too dry." Written by Allison Jackson, illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner. More activities from
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed some Snow. She also swallows some coal, a scarf, a hat...what do you think it makes at the end?

Check out all the great Old Lady activities on Teaching Heart.

Which one do you like best? My $3 yard sale find or the one I made by hand because I couldn't afford the $40 store version?
Copy and paste these into word and resize to fit page. You could use a plastic zip bag or brown paper sack to put the old lady on the outside and let the kids put the animals inside during the story.

There are so many different versions. Try Marcia's Lesson Links Old Lady Who Swallowed a Hamburger
For younger kids I often change the words to "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly, perhaps she'll CRY." "She swallowed a Horse, she choked of course."
Hope you have fun reading this "Must have" book to your kids.

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ArtfullyJune said...

Hmm, I don't know which one I like better. I guess the one YOU made since I know how much love went into it. :)

Amy @ Chicy-Creations said...

This is so cute! I definitely love the one you made. PS, left a blog award for you on my blog!

Tauni said...

Ummm. Really. Is there any question??? The one you made is oh so much cuter! Really. Very impressive.

Shauna said...

How darling! I too have always wanted one of these fun puppets! Yours turned out awesome!

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