Book Launch, Guest Blog, Picture Books, review

GUEST POST: Debut Author Penny Klostermann with THREE Extension Activities for THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (And a GIVEAWAY!)

DRAGON cover

Today I am delighted to have Penny Klostermann here to share three extension activities for her delightful debut picture book THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, published by Random House (2015), and illustrated by Ben Mantle. Though out less than a week, this rollicking rhyming tale about a very hungry dragon is already receiving rave reviews. “No matter how many swallowed-fly titles you own, this one belongs on your shelf too,” writes Kirkus Reviews.  “This will be a great addition to the kindergarten/first grade curriculum on comparing and contrasting similar stories,” raves School Library Journal.  To these, I would add  that from my perspective as writer, teacher, and mother, Penny’s twist on the beloved “Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” has everything eager (and even reluctant) young readers desire – great plot, hilarious illustrations, and (my own daughter’s favorite)  – gassy humor!  Without giving too much away, let’s just say that this bit of gassiness was a big hit at our house. 

Now here’s Penny with three engaging extension activities for THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT.  And, if you can’t already guessed, Penny’s first career was in the classroom! 

Extension Activities For There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight


Penny Klostermann

Feed The Knight To The Dragon: Classroom or party play activity. This will be a Pin the Tail on the Donkey type activity. Using the images from the book as a guide draw a dragon on a large piece of poster board. Either draw small knights for students to color or have students draw and color their own knights. If you plan to play the game multiple times, laminate the dragon and the knights. Students will take turns being blindfolded as they tape their knight to the dragon. The student whose knight is closest to the dragon’s mouth wins the game.

sign from bookThere Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Rhyme: Rhyme recognition activity. Since my book is written in rhyme, it is perfect for a rhyming game. Using the images from the book as a guide draw a dragon on a large piece of poster board. Draw 9 wooden stakes similar to the one holding the “turn around now” sign in the picture below. Make stakes long enough to hold 2-4 signs (rhyming words). Place stakes in front of dragon as if he is eyeing them for a tasty rhyming meal. Make signs from rhyming words to attach to wooden stakes. Start with these words-knight, polite, steed, speed, squire, fire, cook, book, lady, shady, castle, tassel, moat, throat, enough, stuff. Have students take turns taping the signs with matching rhyming words on the stakes. Challenge students to come up with other rhymes that would match those on the stakes.

There Was an Old Dragon on the Loose: Large group tag game-Perfect for playground time or physical education class. Using images from the book as a guide, create small cards (approx. the size of playing cards) with these images: 1 dragon card (student with dragon card will be the dragon)

10 of each-knights, steeds, squires, cooks, ladies, castles, moats. Choose one student to be the dragon. The dragon will wear a red scrimmage vest or a red wristband. Distribute other cards among the remainder of students. Remind them to keep their card a secret. The instructor should be left with a pile of extra cards. (If you have more cards than students, make sure at least 2 knight cards are distributed) Have all students scatter except for the dragon. When instructor calls, “There was an old dragon,” the dragon will begin chasing the other students. If a student is tagged, they must hand their card to the dragon. If they have a knight card, they must take the dragon’s card and the red vest/wristband to become the new dragon. After the previous dragon hands over the dragon card and the wristband, they exchange their knight card with a new card from the instructor’s pile of cards. On the other hand, if a tagged student has any card other than the dragon card, they are free to take another card from the instructor after turning their card over to the dragon. They may continue the game with their new card. Periodically, the instructor should collect the cards the dragon has collected so they will have cards to distribute to other students. The game is ongoing since the dragon card changes hands time after time.

PPK_0615_RGB_HR_02 BIO: Penny Parker Klostermann is the author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT. She loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. She has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too. Penny lives in Abilene, TX. Find out more about Penny on her website. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! If you’d like a chance to win a FREE copy of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT, published by Random House (2015), and illustrated by Ben Mantle, please post a comment below. If you’d like to increase your chances of winning, please also tweet about this post on Twitter, share it on Facebook, and reblog it. For each additional “shout out,” an extra piece of paper will be added to the magic sorting hat with your name on it, so be sure to let me know if you send any “shout outs”. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident to enter.) The contest ends Thursday, 8/13/2015 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced on Friday!

29 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Debut Author Penny Klostermann with THREE Extension Activities for THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (And a GIVEAWAY!)”

  1. Fun extensions activities! I’m going to have to try the first one for my birthday party—I mean my daughter’s birthday party! 😉

  2. I love the idea for Feed The Knight To The Dragon! If you happen to have an armored helmet on hand, just close the visor and skip the blindfold!
    So happy for Penny’s debut!

  3. I’m loving this book, Laura…thanks for shining the spotlight on Penny and her hungry old dragon. 🙂 The activities are great, Penny! I shared on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.and Google. 😉

  4. As I read the blog, and the creative activities for the children, I found myself singing Pete Seager’s version of “There was an old woman who swallowed a fly” which I played in the nursery school where I taught, and for my children. I still may even have the old record. Congratulations on your book Penny!

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