"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill Timpanaro, Artist, Author, Educator

The "JUST BE YOU" project

At The Great Story World Mix-Up, we believe that each child has a unique talent.  By sharing these talents students grow emotionally and intellectually, developing confidence in themselves and trust in their classmates.  The key to growing these talents lies in collaborative learning that fosters emotional intelligence through hands-on, story-driven, project based learning.

Start a “Just Be You” Project
Solving problems is a big part of life that gets easier when you know who you are.  “Just Be You” projects were developed to help students see the similarities and differences they share with classmates, just like the characters Penelope and Jilly do in The Great Story World Mix-Up books. Use these projects as part of the "Just Be You" Skype Learning Lesson or in conjunction with any Great Story World Mix-Up book.

Make A Talent Pool  Have students create a mural using a series of posters or large rolled paper. The idea is simple.  Students draw a picture that represents who they are, it can be a self portrait, baseball, flower, even a color.  Have them write “My Talent Is…and fill in the blank.  Then have them write down a talent they wish they were good at.  Start a discussion about what it takes to be a good teacher. Then have the students write down “tips” that will help their classmates get good at a new talent.

Be Adventurous! P&J created some pretty big problems when they mixed-up Story World, now they have to fix them.  Have students think of a problem they’d like to fix in their community. It could be beautifying an open space, starting a food drive, helping pets find a home or assisting younger students.  Have the students create a plan that uses all of their talents as the solution.  Working together, have the students create posters, poems, collages, videos or letters that illustrate what the problem is and what it will look like after they solve it.  Have them list all the talents they have to use in the process. 

Grow a Helping Hand Garden
Students love to help others, so do Penelope and Jilly!  To grow your own Helping Hand Garden trace each student's hand and arm onto a piece of mural paper, this will be your garden.  Then have students write their best subject on the (stem) arm and color the stem and (flower) hand in. Ask students to think of ways they can help each other become better in each subject.  Each time a student helps another, add a petal to their flower and watch your garden grow.

Make a pledge to “Just Be You”
When students feel like they are different they can have a hard time finding ways to fit in.  Have students sign this “Just be you” pledge.

By signing the pledge students agree to let each student in the class be themselves.  In doing so they promise to be respectful, patient, kind and attentive so everyone in the class can learn.  Signing the pledge will help students to have the best year ever.

Kick-Off Fall 2014
"Just Be You" is a PBL based learning program that can be customized for your curriculum and optimized with technology.  Combine with The Great Story World Mix-Up author visit to motivate students to get their creative ideas out of their head and into the world, just like my daughters and I did with our books.  Fall kick-off programs are booking now. Click here to get your kick-off packet mailed to you.

View “Just Be You” learning lessons for Skype Classrooms on this site.

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Read the books I write with my children.