There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell Book Review and Activities

While November and December are magical months of the year, they can also be the most stressful. Students are so excited about the holidays, so it can be hard to hold their attention. This means teachers often have to carefully plan high-interest, hands-on activities to keep students focused. However, this takes more time than usual, and teachers do not have extra time. Luckily, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell book review and activities are here to help! Students will love every minute of this story and fun winter activities that they won’t have any trouble focusing. 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

Author Lucille Colandro and illustrator Jared Lee created the perfect wacky story for Christmas! 

The story begins with an old lady swallowing a bell! Yes, one that jingles and jangles. However, she doesn’t stop there. She swallows velvety bows, gifts, and a sack. She even swallows a sleigh and some of the reindeer! Just as she is about to enjoy a candy cane for dessert, she hears a jolly voice say, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” The one and only Santa Claus needs a ride because the old lady ate his! 

There was an old lady who swallowed a bell

Students will be giggling with excitement as they listen to the crazy food choices of the old lady. They will love the fun rhymes that help keep them guessing what will happen next. Best of all, they will eagerly await the next page as they see how the old lady helps Santa continue on his Christmas journey. 

Book Activities 

After students read or listen to this story, they will not want just to put it away. They will want to talk about it and share their favorite parts. Luckily, a fantastic unit is ready to take students on a journey with the old lady. 

read aloud activities

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell Literature Unit Activities 

Honestly, there are so many literacy skills included that students won’t realize how much learning they are doing. Students will have so much fun while you secretly cover ELA standards. 

Specifically, students will work on a flip book that focuses on rhyming words, singular and plural, and sentence unscrambling. Additionally, it focuses on true or false, ABC order, sequencing, and reflecting on their favorite part. 

Since ELA skills focus so much on writing and comprehension, both are within this unit. A mini-book also includes 10 pages for students to work on sentence structure. Additionally, there are retelling sticks for students to build the story. Students will have so much fun with this literature companion! 

there was an old lady who swallowed a bell

Additional Winter Activities 

While winter is often cold and windy, it can be warm and toasty in the classroom with fun activities! Whether looking for winter or Christmas-themed lessons, there is something for all classrooms. 

  1. Snowman Build: Many times, following step-by-step directions is a massive focus in elementary school. Honestly, it is a skill students truly need to master before entering upper elementary and middle school. A great way to do this involves putting a snowman together with cut-out pieces. Students will have to follow a specific order to ensure the snowman comes out just right. Teachers can even write down the directions for students to work on reading skills. 
  2. Trapped in a Snowglobe: After putting students’ pictures in a pretend snow globe, they can write about their adventures. For instance, what would they do if they were there for the day? Would they drink cocoa and walk around? Or, would they have a giant snowball fight? Depending on ability, students can write one sentence or a few! This is such a cute craft that focuses on essential academic skills.
  3. Snowflake Mathematics: Addition and subtraction are challenging! Thankfully, snowflakes make it seem more exciting. So, students can cut out snowflakes and then use them to work on math facts. 
  4. Hibernating Animals: Students love animals! Thankfully, there are so many books that focus on winter animals. Teachers can bring together multiple options. Then, students can learn why animals hibernate animals and how they prepare to do this. 
  5. Winter Adjectives: The weather changes so much during the winter! As students come in shivering, it is the perfect opportunity to work on adjectives. Students can describe how it feels outside. Additionally, they can describe their feelings about Christmas coming up! 

The winter season has so much excitement. While it is cold, there is an extra-special feeling in the air. Since this can cause students to become distracted, teachers have to plan extra-special activities. Luckily, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell book review and activities offers creative lessons. Students will love learning throughout the winter with such festive activities. If you have older students you may find this post helpful, as well!

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I am Kirsten Tulsian, an elementary educator with 18 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. My passion lies in empowering students to discover their inherent brilliance through the use of engaging, rigorous, and meaningful activities. I look forward to connecting with you!

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