"The book was absolutely, positively fantastic. I loved it so much. It was probably the best book I ever read. And I've got a name for the wizard, Ozzwald!" -2nd Grade Student

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.

The Great Story World Mix-Up "Just Be You" project focuses on Penelope, a science girl and Jilly, a magic expert who journey to Story World, a place where all the stories ever written have come to life.  In this world they need to use their talents to fix some pretty big problems they accidentally created. 

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.

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. 

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.

For more information about  “Just Be You” learning lessons for Skype Classrooms or to start your own “Just Be You”  campaign  email Laura Hill or call me at (631) 897-5602



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“It looks like it will be a popular series and I LOVE the illustrations!” -Laura Williams, UK

“I love the concept, the characters and the writing. You and the girls did an amazing job.” –Laura Kelly, Educator

"Finally, something refreshing and new is out there!" -Helen Riesgraf, NY

"You got me with the blurb, I can't wait to read the story!"-Mary LaSita, Librarian