One way I like to use this book as a get to know you activity is to have students work on a Venn Diagram comparing themselves to Molly Lou and then sharing the ways they are the same and different from her. This is my sneaky way to get students to work on compare/contrast while at the same time fitting in a getting to know you activity. There’s never enough time in the day, so anytime I can combine activities is a bonus.
Another great concept to work on with this book is character traits. Molly Lou is such an interesting little girl so there are definitely LOTS of unique character traits to discuss. Young students don’t often have great vocabulary for the traits they notice in characters yet, so I have them draw and/or write what they are thinking about the character first. For example a student might notice that Molly Lou is not afraid of bullies. We talk about words that we could use to describe that quality such as “confident,” “courageous,” or “brave.” Then we make a character trait anchor chart that we can add to throughout the year. This is great for building vocabulary and comprehension skills at the same time.
Finally, I always like to find a way to incorporate a written response. After reading this book and discussing Molly Lou’s character traits, students write about ways that they can “stand tall” like her, which is a great lead in to bucket fillers and anti-bullying programs as well.
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I've read this book every year- sometimes twice a year for the last 4 years because I just love it so much! There's so many great life lessons and character education moments in it (plus, the students and I love the illustrations). Thanks for your awesome graphic organizers as well!!