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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Molly Lou's Special Qualities
based on Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow
Grades: PreK–2

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About the Book
Molly Lou Melon is short, clumsy, has buck teeth and a loud voice. David Catrow's hilarious depiction of Molly Lou is of a girl who has a face only a mother could love. However, during the first part of the book, Molly is armed with the encouraging words of her grandmother as to how special her unique qualities are. This serves her well when she must move to a new school and faces the school bully. Bolstered by the words of her grandmother, Molly bests the bully at every turn and wins the bully over to how special she truly is. Patty Lovell has created a modern-day fable about the beauty of believing in yourself and in Molly Lou has given us a heroine who reminds all of us to "stand tall" when faced with people who doubt our abilities. This message is accentuated by the colorful, vivid illustrations that lend just the right touch of humor and zest to the story! A truly remarkable book about the power of positive thought.

Set the Stage
A perfect book to initiate discussion of character, self-esteem, bullying and the power of positive thought, initiate dialog with your students by asking them to name something about themselves that they like…something they think they are good at…something that is unique about them. After responses, ask them such questions as …what does it mean to be proud of yourself? Tell them that in today's story they are going to meet a very unique, interesting little girl. Ask them to listen for characteristics about what she looks like, and what it is about her that is special. Also, tell them to listen for what "advice" (this may need to be defined for younger students) she gets from her beloved grandmother.

Review the Book
When your students have finished reading/listening to Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, use these questions to initiate discussion about the book:
• What did Molly Lou Melon do when Ronald Durkin called her "Bucky-Tooth Beaver?"
• What advice did Molly Lou Melon take from her Grandma?
• Did her Grandma's advice help Molly Lou Melon at her new school? How do you know?

Student Activity
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon touches upon the importance of Character Education by reinforcing the fact that it's very possible for a person to have unusual qualities and still have a healthy amount of self-esteem. Discuss this with your students by pointing out that personal differences make each person unique and special. You can further explain this idea by reminding them that even though Ronald Durkin teases her, Molly Lou Melon shows him that she can do neat things with her different qualities.

For this activity, have your students circle the correct answer and then fill in the blank. Afterward, ask them to think of their own unique and special qualities and write them in the box provided.

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Related Activities
For more on Character Development, see these related resources.

Learn with Clifford how to believe in your self.

Find out more about teaching character and values in this article from Instructor Magazine.

Check out this interview withThomas Lickona, Ph.D., on Character Development from Early Childhood Today.

Find out more about illustrator David Catrow in the Authors and Books section of our site.