Spread the Love
Students celebrate Valentine's Day by considering the different ways people express their feelings for friends and show one another love.
- Grades: 1–2
- Unit Plan:
About this book
Using a fun story and historical facts about the Valentine's Day, students consider the different ways people express their feelings for friends and show one another love. Following the lesson activities, we host a Valentine's Day celebration.
- Read a story about Valentine's Day and consider options to the actions taken by the main character
- Learn about the history of the heart shape and Valentine's Day through research reading and questions
- Create a work of art using a heart shape
- Write a rhyming poem about a classmate
- Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat
- History of the Heart research sheet (PDF)
- Paper hearts
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Template for Writing Valentines (PDF)
Set Up and Prepare
- Cut the hearts out of white, pink, and red paper.
- Print/write each student's name and fold it up and place them in a box decorated with hearts.
- Read Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. Stop and ask questions during the story.
- Talk about Valentine's Day and what you see a lot of (hearts). Ask the students, "Does the heart look like the human heart? Where do you think the shape comes from?"
- Break the students into teams of four. Give each student a number one to four within each group. Give each group the History of the Heart research handout. Give the groups a few minutes to read over the material together. Call out a number between one and four. Ask a question (see the handout). When one of the students with that number knows the answer have them clap or use maracas and have them give their answer (yes, their team may help them and they can look back at the information). When a team answers correctly, they earn the points.
- Next, give each student a paper heart. Have the students brainstorm individually for what they could turn their heart into. Let the students create their own works of art using their heart.
- Have a group discussion about Valentine's Day. Talk about how in the book the mean Valentine's Day poem hurt the kid's feelings. As a group, think of nice things that could have been said instead.
- Have each student pull another student's name out of a box. Have the students write a Valentine's Day poem modeling the nice ones in the book. Give each student a template. Remind them they are writing something nice about that person.
- Save the poems until your Valentine's Day celebration and let each child read aloud the poem about them in front of the class.
Supporting All Learners
Partner the struggling student up with another more confident student when writing poetry. Allow the ELL and struggling students use the book to look for examples and a rhyming dictionary (Scholastic has a great one). Encourage your advanced students to use a thesaurus to use different words.
- Decorate their Valentine's boxes for their class party.
- Write a rhyming poem for the principal.
- Pick another shape to research where the history of the shape.
- Create a class mural of hearts.
- Write something nice about each classmate on a heart for a display.
The student and their family can brainstorm where the phrase "Queen of Hearts" came from.
Have the students list as many phrases, songs, books, or anything having the word "heart" in it.
Were the students able to answer questions during the relay? Did the students use creativity when completing the art project? Were the students able to write a rhyming poem independently?
- Can the students answer the research questions with little help?
- Can the students create a work of art using a heart shape?
- Can the students write a rhyming poem about a classmate?