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There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread,
Then whipped them all soundly
And put them to bed.

Alternate, nicer version below!!

By Jordan Riak

There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe.
She was a kindhearted mom
Who knew exactly what to do.

She raised all her children
With patience and love.
Never once did she give them
A spank, shake or shove.

Her children all learned
To be gentle toward others,
And good parents too
When they became fathers and mothers.

From their days in the shoe
They learned this about living:
Kindness, not force,
Is the gift that keeps giving.


  1. Old Woman Coloring Sheet
  2. Old Woman Maze
  3. Find Old Woman's Twin Shoe Houses!
  4. Old Woman Dot-to-Dot
  5. Practice tying shoes, using adult tennis shoes.
  6. Look at the picture or print it out. Find all the items in the picture that begin with S.
  7. Make Old Woman in Shoe Cake!
  8. Norma sent in this great idea! Thanks, Norma!
    Have children have a discussion if they'd like to live in a shoe. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in one. Then have children dream about the perfect house they'd like to live in and what that home may have ex..a swimming pool, a play room, upstairs, tennis courts, etc.. Students then draw a picture of their dream home. Then beside their home they write: My dream home will have: 1._________________ 2._________________ 3._________________
  9. Karie sent in this idea--thanks!
    Have the children create their own Shoe House. Have them trace and cut out a shoe pattern, lace the shoe lace then to decorate their shoe with windows doors and have them color it their favorite color. After they cut the shoe out, glue it onto a piece of white paper and let them decorate their Backyards.
  10. Jessica sent in this idea--thanks!
    For our family week, I taught the kids "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe". We then talked about the types of homes we can actually live in. (house, apartment, duplex, mobile home, etc.) The kids graphed what type of home they lived in. Then for the fine motor part of my lesson, I made some cut outs of shoes and taught (tried at least) the children how to tie their shoe.
  11. Diana sent in this nicer version of "There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe", complete with actions to go with it. Thanks, Diana!
    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
    (point to shoe)
    She had so many children she didn't know what to do
    (hold arms out like you don't know what to do)
    She gave them so broth along with some bread
    (put left arm straight out; broth and then right for bread)
    Then hugged them all soundly and sent them to bed
    (give yourself a hug and then hands folded together and head on shoulder as if going to sleep)

    Children learn best with motions. I teach 3-6yrs special education:Speech and Language, Developmental Delayed and Autistic.

  12. Martin sends in another action play with the poem. Thanks, Martin!

    There was an old woman (curtsey)
    who lived in a shoe (touch your shoes)
    She had so many children she didn't know what to do.
    (count your fingers and then hold arms out like you don't know what to do)
    She gave them some soup (pretend to eat the soup)
    and some jam and bread, (Spread the jam on the bread)
    Then kissed them all sweetly (Kiss all your fingers)
    And put them to bed.
    (Hands joined on your right shoulder and head resting on hands – pretend to go to sleep)

  13. Aleisha writes, "With my children's drop-in arts program we used an assortment of old shoes which the children then decorated as homes for the old woman and her children. They made finger puppets out of stretch gloves of the old woman (the glove thumb) and her children (each of the fingers) and acted the story out." Thanks, Aleisha!

  14. Abigail writes, "Try the Shoe Game! Have the children take off shoes & pile them in the middle. One at a time pick up a shoe & ask a child,"Who's shoe is this?" If they guess, the shoe goes to the owner, If not, the shoe goes back into the pile.
    The trick is getting the others to not answer, or say it's mine...." Thanks, Abigail!


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