There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell and Reindeer Craft!

The theme for this week was Reindeer!  I read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro which is perfect to use for this time of year.  I like using There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A…… for different holidays throughout the year because these books are great to target holiday vocabulary terms and work on sequencing events in a story.  Print out this free handout of  book pictures, sequencing pictures, and follow-up question sheets.

Download here: There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell

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Print, laminate, and cut the book pictures.  I use the smaller book pictures as I read the story.  I add a piece of soft velcro to the book pictures and a piece of hard velcro onto the book page next to each item the old lady swallows.  I laminate and add hard velcro to the blank picture board to store all the book pictures.  This makes it easy to find all the book pictures!

Bell Book Set Up

When I start the book, I have the students identify “who” the story is about and attach the “old lady” picture to the cover of the book. As I read the book, the students find the correct picture to match what the old lady swallows and attaches it to the velcro in the book.  First, the old lady swallows a BELL.  Have the student find the Bell from a visual field of 2 or more pictures depending on his/her level and attach the Bell picture in the book.

Bell Book Cover Page Bell Picture

Second, the old lady swallows some bows so the student finds the picture of bows and attaches it in the book.  Continue this throughout the book to identify all 6 items the lady swallows, what candy she is thinking about, and finally who comes to meet the old lady at the end of the story.

I take the larger book pictures I laminated to work on sequencing skills.  After the story is finished, have the kids retell the story identifying what the old lady swallowed first, second, third, etc….  For some of my students I give them a visual field of 2 pictures to determine what the old lady swallowed.  For example, I hold up the bell and reindeer pictures and ask “what did the old lady swallow first?”.

Bell Book Sequencing 5

We line up all 6 pictures in the correct order and practice re-telling the story using the visuals.  I add the candy cane and the Santa pictures at the end to add in the details of what she was thinking of and who came to meet the old lady.

Bell Book Sequencing 3

Question Time

You can also complete the visual or written questions that go with the book as you read the book or after you finish the story depending on the student’s ability.  Sometimes I also fold over the visual question page so the students can only see one question at a time to reduce having a whole page of visual stimulation.

Bell Book Visual Worksheet 1 Bell Book Visual Worksheet 2

Making Reindeer!

Since the old lady swallowed a reindeer I decide to have the students make their own reindeer to go along with the book.  They turned out super cute.  First have the student or help your student trace his/her hand.  Cut out the hand and turn it up side down.

Reindeer hand 2 Reindeer hand 1

Add an eye, nose, and decorate!  You can give students different 1-2 step directions to work on color, number, and shape concepts.  It is also good to work on requesting different item.  My students with AAC systems worked on requesting the different items they needed for the craft.

Reindeer Craft 2 Reindeer Craft AAC 2

The students had fun decorating their Reindeer.

Reindeer Craft 3 Reindeer Craft Decorate

Be Creative and Have Fun!

Sarah The Speech Helper



  1. Love this activity. Not sure if it is my computer, but I can’t get the free pages to download!

  2. Is there a link to the pictures and extension activities or are they on TpT? I love doing this book with my kids and this would be great!

  3. Oh would like to share this in a round up?!?

  4. It’s updated now! Sorry for the delay 🙂

  5. Great!!!

  6. Is this still available as a freebie?

  7. Yep! Click the link above to download!

  8. Did u remove this from your site? I love this resource and it works for all of my boys because I use the question pages for my 1st grader and sequencing with my preschoolers. I just went to click the link to print and it cant be found.

    • So sorry! I just fixed the link!

  9. Cant access this freebie anymore.

    • So sorry! I just fixed the link!


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