Book Companions

Categories: Resources

As you are getting set up for the school year I thought I would give you an overview of all the book companions I have created so far.  These are a FREE resource for you to print out and use with your students!  Hopefully this gives you a chance to get the books ahead of time so you can use them this school year!

There are 12 different “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed ….” Books by Lucille Colandro and I have created visuals and questions to support each book.  I like these books because the language is simple and the books help build up vocabulary and sequencing skills.  These books are a good go to lesson for me to use throughout the school year for both my younger students and some of my older students.  Having both the visual and written questions makes it flexible depending on your student skills level.

Here is quick refresh on how to set up these type of book resources.  I put a piece of hard Velcro on each page which corresponds with one of the small book pictures.  I put soft Velcro on the back of the small book pictures so the students can attach the pictures into the book while we read the story.  I also put a piece of hard Velcro on the cover of the book and have the students attach the old lady picture to the cover to answer the questions “who is the story about?”

After I read each item the old lady swallows I have the student match the corresponding picture into the book.  For example, after reading “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” have the student find the fly picture and attach it into the book.  For some of my students, I may provide them with a visual field of 2 pictures to select from and add it to the book.  “A fly or cow”.

I model those sequential terms as I read these books.  For “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat” I would hold up one finger and say “first bat” and then “second owl.”  I continue to model those sequential concepts throughout the entire book.

Hopefully by the end of the book the students can remember all 6 or 7 items the old lady swallowed and in the correct order.  I have my students take the larger book pictures and place the items in the correct sequential order.  For some of my students I provide them a choice of 2 items as they work on identify which item came next.  I have the students take turns re-telling the story to the group while using the pictures for the visual support they need.

You can use the visual questions or written questions either while you are reading the story or after you finish the book depending on your students’ skill levels.

I have also created some other book companions for different holiday books which I like to use with my students.  Again the visuals help support the student’s comprehension of the books and builds up those vocabulary skills.  I’ll be working on adding more seasonal books to my collection this year!


“Ten Timid Ghosts” is always fun to read around Halloween and have the students count down all 10 ghosts as they flee from the Haunted House!

“10 Fat Turkeys” is a funny book to read around Thanksgiving.  My students like to act out all the silly turkey moves before the turkeys fall off the fence!

“Apple Farmer Annie” is a Fall favorite.  There are lots of follow up activities you can do with this book!


  1. Thank you for these! Love them. Wish we had a color printer but I copy & color myself before laminating.
    Have a great school year!

  2. That works! Great idea 🙂

  3. These are absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to check back and see what seasonal books you have added!! Thank you

  4. Awesome!!! Thanks Sasha!!!

  5. These are fantastic!!! I have been buying 2-3 books per pay day from Amazon. I have a kiddo that is obsessed with There Was an Old Lady books. He uses then as an arrival activity.

  6. Awesome! Hope he enjoys these 🙂

  7. Have you added any more read alouds with picture supports?



  8. Does anyone know where you can find the books to go with these

  9. These are great! My kids love them? Do you plan making anymore like “There was an Old Mermaid that Swallowed a Shark and There was an Old Pirate that Swallowed a Map”

  10. Hi Michele, Sarah is planning to make them this fall! Thanks for reading 🙂

  11. Will you be making pieces for the Old Lady who swallowed a Ghost! I have all the other interactive books from here and just picked up this story from our book fair.

  12. Are there any Christmas stories that have been created?


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