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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by…

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Simms Taback

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1,8381543,779 (4.05)10
Title:There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Authors:Simms Taback
Info:Scholastic (1999), Paperback, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:old lady, animals, eating

Work details

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback (1997)


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This book follows a pattern of an old lady swallowing various critters and animals. She starts out by swallowing a fly and ends with swallowing a horse. As the story progresses, the old lady’s stomach grows and the pictures show all that she continues to swallow.

Personal Reflection:
I think this is a fun book for kids to read or listen to. I also like how it follows a pattern that the kids eventually catch on to. It’s a mystery for them as to what she will swallow next.

Extension Ideas:
1. Have a demonstration prepared for the students on what a cycle of animals and their prey are. This demonstration can look different for each student after they have created their own.
2. The kids are given paper and animal science books that say what animals eat. They are told to find an animal and from that animal find out what it eats. The kids should have at least five different animals and what their prey are.
  Elisec | Jul 13, 2017 |
I liked this book for several reasons. First I liked the illustrations in the book because they follow the writing. For example one page explains that she swallowed a spider so the spider would swallow the fly. In the illustration, it shows the lady with a red face and in her stomach you can see the spider and the fly that she swallowed. I also enjoyed the writing in the book because it was very engaging and had repetition. For example on every page it ends with, "I don't know why she swallowed the fly. Perhaps she'll die!" Therefore it is a good read along book in the classroom because the class could then say the repeating sentence. The big idea of this book is to watch what you put in your mouth and not to swallow objects that shouldn't go in your stomach! ( )
  Jclark36 | Mar 11, 2017 |
I enjoyed the book because it is easy to get children engaged in the book. The children are able to laugh about the old lady swallowing animals that she could not in real life, such as a horse. Another aspect of the book that I liked was the repeating line of "perhaps she'll die". This gives the teacher a way to have the students interact with each page and get them involved. ( )
  kkrume1 | Mar 9, 2017 |
I love this book so much, reading it as an adult brought back so many memories. This book is about an old lady who swallows a fly along with other animals. She swallows a lot of different insects and animals to catch one another. The pictures are colorful and keep you engaged. I thought it was gross and funny that she kept eating and eating until she couldn't anymore. I recommend this book as a read aloud for second, third, and fourth graders. ( )
  Sthefania | Feb 20, 2017 |
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly is a colorful story about as the title would suggest, an old lady who swallowed a fly. After swallowing the fly, the old lady then proceeds to swallow a spider in hopes that the spider will catch the fly. The story continues with her swallowing various animals to catch the previous animal such as a cat, a dog, a cow, so on and so forth; until at last there is no more room in her stomach.

Personal Reaction:
This is old poem, that I remember reading as a child. The illustrations of this particular version, provide an enhancing interaction to the text of the story. Without the illustrations, the story wouldn’t have the same humor as it does. I love being able to read stories that I enjoyed as a child to my own children, and watch their reactions to them. My son who is five and a typical boy, thinks that this story is gross and awesome at the same time; it’s one that I have to read over and over again before calling it a night.

Extension Ideas:
There are so many fun activities that you can do to go with this story, as well as different lessons. I plan to use this book as a way to teach the concept of sequencing. After reading the story to the kids, I will have cut out pictures of the various animals that the old lady eats, and as a class we will have to place them in chronological order of what got eaten first. Kids love this story, and it sure to get them laughing, and a great activity to do afterwards, is to cut out pictures from magazines that they themselves would swallow. These can be funny or realistic items, but after the children have cut out the pictures, they will glue them on to their makeshift stomachs that I’ll have for them, and we will place them around the classroom for the children and for visitors to see. ( )
  KaylaRoseDyer | Feb 12, 2017 |
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Book description
Modeled on the folk song: There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670869392, Hardcover)

An old favorite as you've never seen it before!

Everyone knows the song about the old lady who swallowed a fly, a spider, a bird, and even worse, but who's ever seen what's going on inside the old lady's stomach? With this inventive die-cut artwork, Simms Tabak gives us a rollicking, eye-popping version of the well-loved poem.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Presents the traditional version of a famous American folk poem first heard in the U.S. in the 1940's with illustrations on die-cut pages that reveal all that the old lady swallows.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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