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COMPLETE PICTURE BOOK GUIDE: The Little Old Woman Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. HarperCollins 1986 2007 Nancy Polette 


The Activities in this literature unit were designed to meet the following objectives:
The student will:
  1. Relate incidents from his/her life to characters and events in the story.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of vocabulary by grouping words within a given context.
  3. Write from his/her own experience on topics related to the story.
  4. Support assertions about text with evidence and compare and contrast themes, characters and ideas.
  5. Sequence story events in order and use capitalization and punctuation correctly.
  6. Identify letter sounds and ryhming words.
  7. Be able to distinguish between sentences and phrases.
  8. Apply knowledge of conventional spelling.
  9. Demonstrate originality in creative writing.
  10. Descriminate among words with opposite meanings.

About the Book

Once upon a time there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything.
She had spent the day gathering herbs and when twilight came she started home through the woods. It was a windy, autumn night and she stopped right in the middle of the path for behind her she heard "CLOMP CLOMP".
"I'm not afraid of you," says the little old lady. But the noises keep growing. CLOMP CLOMP, WIGGLE WIGGLE, SHAKE SHAKE, CLAP CLAP....and the little old lady who was not afraid of anything has the scare of her life! But by using her head and coming up with a great idea, the little old lady finds that all turns out just right in the end.


Linda Williams is an experienced teacher who knows exactly the kind of book young children like. It needs to be scary but not too scary! Ms. Williams is the director of a child development center and lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
In this capacity she understands the needs of young children and remembers what it was like when she was a child and enjoyed scary books. Linda always wanted to write stories and her first story was published in a children's magazine when she was ten-years-old. She says that since that time she has been "hooked" on books and writing and hopes to help the children she works with today become lifelong lovers of books as well. Her newest book is a tale of a mix up on the farm titled Horse in the Pigpen.

Source: Something About the Author. Vol 4 Gale Research Co. 1994.

Pre-Reading Vocabulary Activities

Cut apart the words in the boxes. Use as many words as you can in one sentence to describe the cover of the book. Add other words as needed.

lady woman forest
pumpkin cottage collect
clomp wiggle shake
herbs clapnod
afraidboo scare
windysliver shining
spices middle shoes
pants shirt gloves



Choose one of the sentence starters. Finish the sentence and write one or two more sentences about the topic.

  1. Walking alone in the forest...
  2. Things some people are afraid of are...
  3. One reason to gather herbs is...
  4. It is fun to walk in the woods if...
  5. A little old lady who lives all alone might...
  6. Finding something in the middle of a road...
  7. Reasons to walk faster than usual are...
  8. Pumpkins can be used for...
  9. You can make a scarecrow out of...
  10. Something really scary would be...


Work in groups of four or five. Each group receives one question to talk about for five minutes. Each group chooses one member to tell the class the main ideas of the group's discussion.

  1. Think of many ways you might help a lonely older person.
  2. Suppose the little old lady had met only the shoes on the path. How would the story change?
  3. The little old lady kept saying she was not afraid. Do you think this was true? Why or why not?
  4. Is it a good idea to walk alone in the woods after dark? Why or why not?
  5. Think of other articles of clothing the little old lady might have met on the path. What sound would each make?
  6. Were the objects on the road really scary? Why or why not?
  7. How did the scarecrow feel when he knocked on the little old lady's door? Did his feelings change at the end of the story? Why?
  8. Retell the story as if the little old lady met the parts of a bicycle on the path (handlebars, pedals, seat, wheels, chains) instead of clothing.
  9. Name all the ways you can that this story is like Goldilocks and the Three Bears .


Cut apart the story strips and put them in order to tell the story.
Add capital letters and punctuation marks where they belong.

1. she met a shirt two gloves and a hat
2, went for a walk in the forest.
3. she ran home and sat in her chair
4. the next morning she found a scarecrow
5. she met two big shoes and a pair of pants
6. one afternoon a little old lady
7. on her way home
8. she met a huge scary pumpkinhead

Answer key: 6, 2, 7, 1, 5, 8, 3, 4


Find the missing words. Sing the phonics songs.

Substitution Song
(If You're Happy And You Know It)
If you change SH IN SHIRT to a D
If you change SH IN SHIRT to a D
If you change SH TO D
Then a shirt becomes some _________
If you change SH IN SHIRT TO A D

If you change the H IN HAT to a B
If you change the H IN HAT to a B
If you change the H to B
Then a HAT becomes a ______________
If you change the H IN HAT to a B

Phoneme Isolation Song
(Old MacDonald)
L is the sound that starts these words
Like Love Lady
With an LL/ here and an LL there
Here an L there an L
Everywhere an LL
L is the sound that starts these words
Like Love Lady

Add verses: Big, Bad, Bed for B
High Hot Hat for H
Red Ring Run for R
Put each of these letters on a small, separate piece of paper.
Make the words as directed by the reader.
g     n     i     p     s     r

1. Take three letters and make a word that means to take small drinks of water

_____ _____ _____

2. Take away one letter and add one letter to tell what the old lady needs if she loses a button.

_____ _____ _____

3. Take away one letter and add two letters to tell what one might carve on a pumpkin...a big ...

_____ _____ _____ _____

4. Take away one letter and add one letter to tell something the old lady might do to keep her courage up.

_____ _____ _____ _____

5. Add one letter and move letters around to tell what the old lady has on her fingers.

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

6. Add one letter to tell what time of year the old lady likes best.

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Key: 1.sip 2.pin 3.grin 4.sing 5.rings 6.spring

In the summertime the scarecrow will keep the birds from eating the garden vegetables. But what will the little old lady do with the scarecrow during the winter?

What could you do with a scarecrow?
You could decorate him for a Christmas tree.
And you could read stories to him
It would be fun to use him as a dancing partner
And pretend he was a guest at your tea party
These are things you could do with a scarecrow.

Your turn: What could you do with a scarecrow?
You could __________________________________________________________

And you could _____________________________________________________

It would be fun to _________________________________________________

And pretend he ____________________________________________________

These are things you could do with a scarecrow.

What can't you do with a scarecrow?
You can't ___________________________________________

And you can't ________________________________________

And no one would not like it if you _______________________

These are thing you can't do with a scarecrow.


Read about pumpkins in the data bank that follows. Find more information about pumpkins in the encyclopedia or a book about pumpkins. Add one more fact under each heading.


on a vine prickly leaves vitamin A
in a garden orange color vitamin C
on farms straw color source of energy
_____________ _____________ _____________
weighs 1-35 pounds jack-o-lantern
takes 5 months to grow pumpkin pie
_____________ _____________

Use the information in the data bank in the patterns that follow.

Pumpkins for sale! Pumpkins for sale! They are the best food you
would ever want to buy because they _______________________
and they give __________________________________________
and __________________________________________________
but the very best thing about a pumpkin is ___________________

Some pumpkins have their own ___________________________
Where they ___________________________________________.
Sometimes they go around _______________________________
Or sometimes they just __________________________________
But to this very day, some pumpkins have their own ___________ ________________________.


Read the description of each book. Think of a good title and write the title on the first line after the description.
Then unscramble the titles at the bottom of the page.
Write the title that you think best fits the book on the second line after each description.

1. A black cat climbs a black oak tree and is afraid to come down. No one can see the cat because it is the same color as the tree. No one can hear the cat because it is too far up the tree. A yellow cat, who has very good ears, walks by the tree and hears the black cat calling for help. "I will save you,!" she says, "but not by climbing the tree".

What do you suppose she does?
Your title: ___________________________________________________________________
The author's title ____________________________________________________________

2. A small monster wants to dress up for Halloween. He finds an old lady's hat, some sparkling eyeglasses, a purple scarf and snow boots. "I know what I can be," he yells. "My Halloween costume will fool everyone." What do you suppose the monster will be on Halloween?

Your title: ___________________________________________________________________
The author's title ____________________________________________________________

3. A little old lady meets a scary bear in the woods. The bear tells her he is hungry and wants to eat her for dinner. But the little old lady has an idea. She tells the bear that he can eat all he wants if he will come to her house in the morning. When he gets there, she has a surprise waiting for him. What so you suppose it is?

Your title: ___________________________________________________________________
The author's title ____________________________________________________________

Scrambled Words: 1. bclka tac 2. eoms hgsto 3. ysacr ebra


Bully Brothers Goblin Halloween by Mike Thaler. Grosset and Dunlap, 1993
How can you give a Halloween party for friends if you don't have any friends?

Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam. Illustrated by Lars Ullman. Aladdin, 1992
26 wonderful Halloween poems.

Halloween Cats by Jean Marzollo. Illustrated by Trina Hyman. Scholastic, 1992
Rhymes about trick-or-treating cats.

Halloween Holiday Grab Bag by Judith Stamper. Illustrated by Jack Weiss. Troll, 1993
Origins of Halloween customs and activities for the holiday.

Halloween Howls: Riddles That Are a Scream by Giulio Maestro. Puffin, 1986
Spooky riddles featuring Halloween creatures.

Halloween Mask for Monster by Virginia Mueller. Illustrated by Jane Cutler. Puffin, 1986
A monster doesn't know what he wants to be for Halloween.

Halloween Monster by Catherine Stock. Illustrated by Terry Aldis. Aladdin, 1993
Tommy's mother helps him overcome his fear of monsters with a super Halloween costume.

Halloween Parade by Harriet Ziefert. Illustrated by Joshua Baker. Puffin, 1990
There are ghosts, goblins and witches in the parade. Which one is Allie?

Halloween Surprises by Ann Schweninger. Puffin, 1984
After the Rabbit children have celebrated Halloween, their parents have one more surprise for them.

Halloween With Morris and Boris by Bernard Wiseman. Scholastic, 1975
Two friends share Halloween laughs.