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Teaching Self-esteem: Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon Lesson

by Patty Lovell

Grades: K-2

CASEL Standard: Self-Awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.

Character Education Lesson Objective: To understand what self-esteem is and identify what each student is good at


Part 1: 

  • What do you really like about yourself?  Is there anything about yourself that you do not like and you wish that you could change?
  • Many people have things about themselves that they wish they could change.  But it is important to learn to love yourself for who you are.  There is no reason for you to change!
  • Learning to love yourself and accept yourself just as you are right now is called self-esteem.
  • Why do you think it is important to have good self-esteem?
  • Having good self-esteem is important so that you feel good about yourself.  You will feel happier if you feel good about yourself.
  • I want you to think about the things that you know that you are good at.  I am going to give you a worksheet and you are going to write those things down in a list.
  • You might be good at being a good friend, being kind to your brother or sister, be a good helper, be good at playing a sport, be a good reader, be a musician, or anything else that you can think of. 
  • After you have written down what you are good at, you will be able to share with everyone.
  • As the students are sharing, praise them for finding the things that they are good at and reinforce the concept of good self-esteem.

Part 2: 

  • We are going to be reading a book called, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell.
  • Read the book.
  • Why was Molly Lou Melon so confident and why did she feel so good about herself?
  • Having someone who believes in you and helps you to have good self-esteem is so important.  Molly Lou Melon’s grandma was that person for her.  She encouraged her and told her that she should smile big, sing out loud and believe in herself.
  • How did Molly Lou Melon react when Ronald Durkin called her names and made fun of her?  Why did she react that way?
  • Do you think you would have reacted the way that Molly Lou Melon reacted?  Why or why not?
  • Molly Lou Melon was not bothered by what Ronald Durkin said to her because she has good self-esteem.  Molly Lou Melon remembered what her grandma had told her and believed in herself.  Because of that, she was able to stand up for herself by showing Ronald Durkin what she could do.

Part 3: 

  • Now, you are going to think of something that you do that other people might not like or think that you are good at, but something that you like to do.  For example, I love to dance to music, but most people would say that I am not a good dancer.
  • You are going to complete the sentence, “I am like Molly Lou Melon when I….”  You will then also draw a picture that illustrates the sentence.
  • When you are done, you will all share what you have written about.
  • As the students are sharing, reinforce how doing what they like to do no matter what other people think or say is showing good self-esteem.

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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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