Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a heartwarming story about a confident little girl who wins over Ronald Durkin, the school bully. The gorgeous illustrations and positive message of being true to yourself make this a must-read for back to school. This book is perfect for teaching kids about character traits. My students fell in love with the characters in this story. As a class we compared and contrasted Molly Lou to Ronald Durkin by analyzing how their characters changed throughout the story. Then the students illustrated and wrote a character map about themselves and pondered their own character traits. It was amazing to see what traits my first graders came up with.

After discussing character traits we revisited the story to talk about some of the rich vocabulary words. We defined unknown words by using clues from the text and illustrations, as well as our own background knowledge. Once we defined an unknown word we wrote examples and non-examples.  Here is an example the vocabulary page we did as a class. Once we finished, the students were given another unknown word from the story and they completed the page independently. Read more about how I meet all the literature core standards during my read-aloud time. Read-aloud lesson plans and activities

Next, we read I Like Myself.   This story is a simple, humorous book about a girl who likes herself no matter what. We compared and contrasted the two stories together as a class. Its silly rhyming words and illustrations deliver a powerful message of self-assurance. We discussed the topic of self-esteem and made a list of things we liked about ourselves- things that made us, us. As we thought about those things, we drew self-portraits using chalk and watercolors. To accompany the self-portraits we added an “I Like Me” poem that followed the text pattern from the story I Like Myself.Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon Craft and writing activity



Love these ideas? Click here for our 4 day lesson plans, text-dependent questions, graphic organizers, and craftivity instructions for Molly Lou Melon and I like Myself.

You can also visit our blog post to learn more about how we teach the core one read-aloud at a time here.