speech and language teaching concepts for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/l/ initial
/sw/ initial
/sh/ initial



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

By Lucille Colandro

A wacky new Christmas version of the classic “There Was an Old Lady” song! This time, the hungry old lady swallows a bell, bows, gifts, a sack, a sleigh, and some reindeer! She’s about to swallow a candy cane for dessert, when she hears a jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Santa Claus is waiting for a ride! Watch what happens when she whistles, with amazing results! With rhyming text and funny illustrations, this lively version of a classic song will appeal to young readers with every turn of the page–a fun story for Christmastime! This is a wonderful companion to Colandro and Lee’s other Old Lady books!

This silly and engaging Christmas book can be used in speech therapy to target sequencing and rhyming.  It is also great for answering “why” and “who” questions through the rhythm of the story. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell in speech therapy below: 


Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

action sequence
cumulative tale

Narrative Concepts:

verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
phonological awareness
repetitive text


order of things she swallowed


bell, bow, sack, swallowed, etc.


verbs (present tense action)
verbs (regular past tense)
WH questions (why and who)
pronouns (subject – she)


Text Features:

repetitive text

Phonological Awareness:



Why do you think she is swallowing ____?

If you are interested in seeing other Christmas books to use in therapy, then check out the Seasonal Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.