Friday, September 9, 2011

Stand Tall

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon 
by Patty Lovell
illustrated by David Catrow

Molly, Molly, Molly.  Have you read Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon?  If you have not, do it soon.  She is AMAZING.  She is definitely one of my favorite characters!  Molly has many flaws.  The thing about her flaws that is so great is that with the advice of her grandma, she turns them in to strengths.  Seriously, this kiddo has got it going on.  She has a bucky tooth beaver smile, that just so happens to aid her in her penny balancing skills.  She is the shortest girl in first grade, but she doesn't let that stop her from being awesome!  Molly ends up dealing with a bully in a positive and confident way, while remaining true to herself.  David Catrow's (think "I Wanna Iguana" and "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More") illustrations are so endearing, the kiddos pick this story as a reread over and over again.  
I love to introduce characters with little Molly Lou. Pre-reading I talk about how she is the main character in our book and that the author is going to give us a lot of information about her because of this. After we read, I tell my kiddos we are going to do a small character study.  First, we brainstorm all of the things we know about Molly Lou Melon:

Then we identify all the "Molly Lou Can" ideas (highlighted in red):

The kiddos decided that "People like her" and "She went to a new school" were 'I can' statements
for Molly Lou, because she was a good friend and was brave when
she started her new school.
Then I have my kiddos tell about all the things they can do.  This becomes our shared/reading writing for the week our chart says:
I can _________________. (student's name)
For example, when it was my turn I might write something like:
I can swim far. (Mrs. Andersen)
When we do our shared reading of our "I can" statements, I cover the names and see if my class can remember who can do what. I love focusing on their abilities, just like Molly Lou Melon's grandma does with her.  I love the look on their faces when their "I can" statement is read.  A little confidence builder goes a long way with these first graders!  So go, enjoy a little Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon with your class.  Find out what they can do!
A side note: Last year I came across Cara Caroll's blog, The First Grade Parade.  Their first grade theme was "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon".  Head over there to see the cute idea they used to decorate their hall Molly style at the the beginning of the year.

1 comment:

  1. I adore this idea Ericka!
    I LOVE character studies...and Molly Lou is one of my favorites!