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Drawing with Mr J logo

Jonathan Juravich

Jonathan Juravich aka “Mr. J”

COLUMBUS, OHIO, APRIL 23, 2020 – WOSU Classroom launched a new video series – Drawing with Mr. J – that helps kids in grades K–5 learn social and emotional skills through fun, brief drawing challenges.

“It is crucial that we pay attention to the development of the whole child, and that includes character education,” said Amy Palermo, chief content director, WOSU Classroom. “Parents and educators must work together to raise children’s self-awareness, their ability to recognize and manage their emotions, and to build conflict-resolution skills. Drawing with Mr. J is a fun and easy way to start a dialogue with children around their social and emotional development.”

All that’s needed to participate is something to draw with and something to draw on, so parents can use these videos as part of their at-home learning while schools are closed. Each video has a companion guide containing activities and resources for educators and parents. With new episodes released monthly, Season 1 currently offers five episodes:

  • Fruit Dance Party: Helps kids identify how basic emotions show on our faces
  • A Plant with a Face: Provides strategies for processing grumpy feelings
  • A Donut Playing Sports: Explores the feeling of disappointment
  • A Cat Attacking A City: Explores what it means to feel angry
  • A Unicorn with Personality: Shares what stress may look or feel like

“These short videos are conversation starters,” said Jonathan (“Mr. J”) Juravich. “Through drawing prompts, the viewer is invited to have an awareness of their own personal emotions. At the end of each video, I ask the viewer to use their drawing to start a conversation about their feelings with a parent or trusted adult. I hope that we can play a small part in these critical discussions about what it means to be a human. And while they are at it, I hope they smile, laugh and have fun along with me.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. J is providing additional quick weekly drawing challenges on twitter.

For teachers in a traditional setting, the videos can be worked into a variety of lesson plans, be used as a morning warm-up or a way to check-in with students after lunch or other transition times. These activities align with Strategy Number 7 of Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, Each Child, Our Future, which focuses on working to help schools meet the needs of the whole child. The video companion guides are aligned to state standards.

About Jonathan Juravich
Jonathan Juravich is the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists for 2018 National Teacher of the Year. Juravich (“Mr. J”) is the art educator at Liberty Tree Elementary School in Powell, Ohio. A leader in the Ohio Art Education Association, Mr. J also mentors future art educators at Otterbein University as an adjunct instructor. Mr. J’s personal and professional focus is on the importance of social and emotional learning in our daily lives. This is the topic of his many presentations, his TED-Ed Educator Talk How Do We Teach Empathy and the new WOSU video series Drawing with Mr. J.

About WOSU Classroom
WOSU Classroom, a part of WOSU Public Media, offers a wide variety of in-person and online professional learning opportunities suitable for educators of all grade levels and subject areas. Courses are offered for educators wishing to extend their knowledge and experience with technology integration. Learn more at

About WOSU Public Media
The mission of WOSU Public Media is to engage, inform and inspire our diverse community. An NPR and PBS affiliate, WOSU is a noncommercial multimedia organization serving over two million citizens in Central Ohio through broadcast, digital, programming, events and education experiences. A licensee of The Ohio State University, member-supported WOSU Public Media moves its headquarters and studios to the new 15+HIGH District on campus in 2021. Learn more at

Amy Tillinghast
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
2400 Olentangy River Road | Columbus, OH 43210
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