Tracing Character Emotions with Text Messages!

What if you could bring characters to life by generating a text message thread between them? Now, you can! 

First, we read the story, “Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon.” After we read the story, the students had to think back to various points in the text to determine how the main character (Molly Lou) was feeling. To do this, we used a “Bubble Map,” which is used to record adjectives. But, I also wanted them to focus on the emotions at different times in the story. So, we combined the bubble map, with a “Flow Map.” Smashing these two together gave us a “Blow Map!”

  Using their “Blow Map,” we went through the story describing Molly’s emotions. I expected this to be challenging, so I was prepared to allow the kids to give me both adjectives and emojis - which they could then talk through to come up with an adjective. To help differentiate, I put the Blow Map on OneNote and shared it to certain students on Microsoft’s Teams. Here’s a shot of the OneNote file:


After going through the story, we used the recording sheets below to create a fake text message thread between Molly Lou and her grandmother. A student quickly pointed out that some of the adjectives we came up could be used for Molly’s Grandma, too! 

Stand_Tall_Molly _Lou_Melon_Text_Message_Sheet.jpg


Next , we took the recording sheets and created a fake texting thread using the app: TextingStory. Then, we shared our responses on Flipgrid to produce a class discussion and share our ideas. Here’s a 40 second tutorial:

Last but certainly not least, we created a fake Instagram generator to post “updates” on how Molly was feeling throughout the story. The kids even used the hashtags: #Beginning, #Middle, and #End. Grandma also got in on the fun!


To create something like the images above, just google: “fake Instagram profile.” There are a bunch of options, depending on your comfort level. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on how this all worked!

—J 👓

The Merrills