The book by Linda Williams, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, is so much fun to read. I have enjoyed reading the book to some second grade classes this Halloween season. Linda Williams takes the concept of fear that all children have and creates a book that celebrates bravery. Throughout the writing, she breaks up the suspense by using onomatopoeia (sound words in writing). The children love to do motions with each onomatopoeia. I had the children slap their laps for CLOMP! CLOMP! They WIGGLE, SHAKE, CLAP, and NOD along with the story. They especially love saying BOO at the end.
To increase the interaction with the read aloud, allow the children to turn and share with a partner what they think will happen next. They love predicting correctly. One student gave the prediction that the pumpkin head at the end said “Ha, Ha” instead of “Boo! Boo!” I asked if “ha,ha” would work and then asked them to think about why the author said “Boo” instead. The Halloween holiday was linked. This read aloud helped build their comprehension, and it was fun.
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything:
- Onomatopoeia in the writing
- Suspense – “…and on she walked, just a little bit faster.”
- Suddenly – “The little old lady started to walk home. Suddenly she stopped!”
- Change in mood – “Then what’s to become of us?” The pumpkin head suddenly looked unhappy.”
- Magic of 3 – “This time the little old lady did not stop to talk. She did not stop at all. She RAN!”