A Lesson That Explores Character, Comprehension, and Creativity:
These lesson plans, correlated with Monster Visits the Land of Colors, allow for students to learn not only how to comprehend the story, but to empathize with a character different from themselves. For younger students, K-1, these lesson plans allow for students to recognize colors and to practice with storytelling, as well as empathy. For grades 2-4, the lesson plans allow for students to not only learn about character and storytelling, but about writing a story and learning how to publish it as well. All grade levels, including upper grades, can use the storyboards as journal prompts to write extended or alternate versions of the story, as well as opportunities to write tales of adventure and the value of friendship. The lesson plans are a great source to explore character, comprehension, and creativity in the classroom.
Teachers Love JJ & Monster!
“This week I had a visiting author during story time. His name is JJ Calloway. He wrote his first book when he was 10 and in 5th grade as a writing project for his class. When JJ was in kindergarten, he was bullied by another student and began to dislike school. He created Monster as his imaginary friend who helped him work through being bullied and like school again. Our students really enjoyed his presentation.”
– Terry Stamey, Highlands School, Highlands, NC
“JJ Calloway is a wonderfully talented former student of mine. He visited my fifth grade classroom to share his book Monster Visits the Land of Colors. JJ shared his book with my students and talked about the entire process of creating this book. He did a fantastic job engaging students. He showed us how he started with an idea and took the story from that idea all the way to a published book. He used sample story boards from his website with the students and walked them through how they could start the process. JJ is very knowledgeable about the entire process and was able to share the most challenging parts as well as what he enjoyed most. He is a great role model for students. Hearing JJ talk about this experience and seeing his name on the cover of a “real” published book, made being a successful writer seem so much more possible for any student who shares this dream.
It is a tremendous benefit for students to see someone their own age as a successful writer. Even more important, is for students to hear someone their own age sharing how he created the character “Monster” as a friend to help him deal with tough situations. Many of our students are in some pretty tough situations. They need to hear from their own peers that there are ways to cope with those situations and even turn them into something good. JJ is doing a fantastic job showing that success is possible on so many levels.”
– Monica Roberts, 5th Grade Teacher, Brush Creek Elementary, Marshall, NC
“JJ was certainly a “hit” at Jennie Moore Elementary! The students enjoyed meeting JJ along with his monster. JJ personalized his visit by talking to the students and explaining that bullying really happens and can hurt. JJ explains his writing process to the students and takes time for questions and answers. Our students loved JJ, his monster, and JJ’s mom! It was a great experience and we look forward to having him back in the fall.”
– Lisa Shellhaas, Jennie Moore Elementary, Mt. Pleasant, SC
“JJ Calloway was amazing! He has the wit and deliverance of someone way beyond his years. As the facilitator of From Bully-to-Buddy, I found him refreshingly humorous and victorious in spite of a difficult situation. JJ stayed in touch with me prior to the event to make sure he was on target with key points needed by the audience. He exceeded those expectations and was amazing in collaborating the promotion, especially on social media.
In addition, JJ was a crowd-pleaser. He and his mom, Lisa, had won over the audience prior to his presentation because they were engaged and showed interest in everyone — even the homeless lady. By the way, the homeless lady saw me at another event and did not recall I was the From Bully-to-Buddy organizer. She said, “did you go to the Bully-to-Buddy event?” I said oh, you don’t recall because my hair was different and I have on different glasses. She said “that kid was good; he was great!” Although she is homeless, she is a brilliant woman and this meant a lot coming from her. I have already shared several other commendations.
I only wish we had more time and the audience could have asked you questions. (Others expressed the same). Next time, there will be less other speakers and more of you!!
In summary, JJ will touch hearts and minds with his message of overcoming bullying. I believe he (his book and monster) will make an impact for some time to come. As a result of his presentation, a representative from the Macon County Schools has expressed interest in getting him into the schools. This is a crucial time for such a crucial message. Keep up the great work, JJ and thank you again for your time and excellence! You are a bullying Victor.”
Carolyn L. Higgins