Monday, October 22, 2012

Book of the Week: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything



I have seen a few other posts about this book lately, (check out these posts by Playing With Words 365 and Chapel Hill Snippets to start) so I wasn't going to write about this one, but it really is the book I'm using this week!  "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda D. Williams is one of my favorite Halloween stories.  I love the repetition and predictability of this book and the kids always get a kick out of the surprise ending!  I read this one every year and typically do the same activities I'm going to tell you about.  Reading the other posts, I was surprised how similar we all are in how we incorporate this book into therapy!

If you're not familiar with the story, it's about a little old lady who ventures out into the woods to gather some herbs, nuts, and seeds.  She's gone so long it starts to get dark.  On her way home she meets two shoes that go "Clomp! Clomp!," one pair of pants that go "Wiggle! Wiggle!," one shirt that goes "Shake! Shake!," two gloves that go "Clap! Clap!," one hat that goes "Nod! Nod!," and one scary pumpkin head that goes "Boo! Boo!"  Even though she's not afraid of anything, she runs home and locks the door behind her.  She hears a knock and the pumpkin head tells her that they came to scare her.  She tells them that they cannot scare her...they get together to make a scarecrow.

My take on it:
Again, I know these ideas may not be new and/or innovative.  But, here goes:

I use this book as an in-class lesson.  I start out by telling the students the title of the story.  I ask each student if they have anything that they're afraid of.  Usually the answer to that is "no," until they hear another child say something that scares them.  I then draw their attention to the "L" in "Little" and "Lady."  We talk about the letter and it's sound and brainstorm other words that start with "L" (artic practice for my kiddos working on /l/).

BTW, I tell the kids I'm afraid of snakes and spiders (Hello, /s/ blends!)...



I read the story with story props that I printed from Toddler Approved.  I colored and laminated the props, then attached velcro so I can put them together to form the scarecrow at the end of the story.

I lay the props out on the floor in front of me as they appear in the story.  I have the children repeat each sound with an accompanying movement (e.g., stomping their feet for the "Clomp! Clomp!").  As we're reading the story, I touch each prop as we do the sound/movement.  When we get to the end where the little old lady goes to sleep, I ask the kids to close their eyes and pretend to sleep.  While they're doing this, I put the scarecrow together using the props and hide it behind my back.  When they're "awake," the props are gone and the students no longer have the visuals to sequence the order of the items for the last go-through of all the items.  I usually start them out with "She saw two shoes that go..." then see how much they can remember of the order and accompanying sound/movement.  On the last page, I bring out the completed scarecrow!

Toddler Approved shows the items taped to a wall

After we read the story, we use puppets that I made by printing the felt board pieces from Making Learning Fun onto card stock, laminating, and attaching to popsicle sticks.  I made a couple of sets of these because some classes have more than 6 kids.  I hand out one part to each child.  I pay attention to the child's speech and language goals when I've giving out the puppets.  For example, if I have a child working on /sh/, I give that child the shirt puppet.  I play the Old Lady.  We then act out the story and I ask "WH" questions along the way.  I start out saying something like "One day, I went for a long walk in the woods.  Now, I know I came out here for a reason...Hmm, why am I out in the woods? (to pick nuts and seeds) Oh, right!"  As I "meet" the clothing items along the way, the children follow me around the room until we have a little parade going.  They love this part!

felt board pieces from Making Learning Fun


When we're done with our "play," we review the items and their noises and review any articulation target words.

I have used this book in small group settings with older students as well.  After the story, we typically play the Clothes Match Fun Game from Making Learning Fun.

Clothes Match Fun Game



What's your take on "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything"?


7 comments :

  1. Not many people know this...but there is a song to the book by Mar Harmon. The music goes faster as she hears more things.....I use it a lot in preschool ..lespedially for those kiddos who can't sit for the book...the music (we "walk" for with out hands slapping our knees faster and faster as well as the other motions).

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    1. Ooh! I had no idea there was a song! I'll have to look it up! Thanks for the info :)

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  2. I love this book! I bought it on a whim around 1996 and have had to buy another copy from so much use! I think it's also great for students in functional academics and lifeskills.


    Oh, How Pintearesting!

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    1. They just had the book for $1 in the Scholastic catalog. I ordered a 2nd copy!

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  3. I love this book for all of the reasons you mentioned, too! I also like the negative, "not", in the book and discuss that she was a brave woman. I have an adorable mini-book that goes w/ the story so that the kids can retell the story at home!

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    1. I love the idea of a mini-book for home practice! Did you create it or find it online?

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  4. LOVE this book! My son loves it as well! My favorite part is letting my PK kiddos act out the sounds everytime the woman hearing something! GREAT way to increase vocabulary! Love it! Also never knew there was a song out there...so glad one of your followers shared that info! :)

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