Coin Sort

What Students Learn: Money skills, sorting

What You Need: Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for each student (play money is fine!)

What to Do: Give each student a handful of coins and ask them to identify any they recognize. Call attention to the presidents’ faces on the coins. Hold up a penny. Explain that it’s worth 1 cent and has a picture of Abraham Lincoln on it. Have students find all of the pennies in their piles. Do the same with the nickels, dimes, and quarters. Next, have students sort their coins according to your prompts. For instance, you might tell students to sort the coins into two groups based on color. You could also have students sort coins based on whether they are “heads up” or “tails up.” Finally, have students sort their coins by value: 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, and 25 cents.

P Is for President

What Students Learn: Letter-sound correspondence

What You Need: Chart paper, magazines, scissors, glue, construction paper

What to Do: Explain that our country will honor its presidents on February 18. Have students repeat the word presidents and identify the first sound they hear. Make the letter-sound connection that p makes the \p\ sound. Challenge students to name other words that start with p, such as people and presents. Write the words on a piece of chart paper. Then hand out magazines and scissors to each student. Students should cut out pictures of objects that start with a p. To make a collage, glue the pictures onto a piece of construction paper. Then it’s time to show them off! Invite volunteers to share their collages with the class by pointing to each p picture they found.

February Fun

What Students Learn: Calendar skills, counting, patterns, following directions

What You Need: Crayons, calendar template for each student with month and days of the week labeled (but not dates)

What to Do: Create a special calendar for the month of February in honor of Presidents’ Day. Explain that both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln had their birthdays in this month. Hand out a calendar page to each student along with three crayons—blue, red, and yellow. Tell students to point to the first Friday, and then draw a 1 with a blue crayon. This is the first day of the month. Next, instruct students to write a 2 in red on Saturday and a 3 in yellow on Sunday. Students can continue this pattern until they reach 28. After the month is complete, ask students to identify the pattern that the colors follow (ABC). Looking for a challenge? Ask students what color would come before February 1 and after February 28. Then have students label important dates on the calendar, by drawing a star on the 18th for Presidents’ Day, a top hat on the 12th for Lincoln’s birthday, and a wig or a cherry tree on the 22nd for Washington’s birthday. (Alternately, children can just mark each important date with an X.) For a home-school connection, students can take their calendars home and work with their families to label important dates, such as siblings’ birthdays and Valentine’s Day.

Abe’s Tune

What Students Learn: Music, gross motor skills

What You Need: Chart paper

What to Do: Show an iconic picture of Abraham Lincoln from a book or website. Point to pieces of clothing that Lincoln is wearing, including a hat (called a stovepipe), shirt, vest, tie, coat, trousers (pants), gloves, and shoes. Then write the following song on a piece of chart paper.

Hat, trousers, vest and shoes,
   vest and shoes
Hat, trousers, vest and shoes,
   vest and shoes
Tie and coat and shirt and gloves
Hat, trousers, vest and shoes,
   vest and shoes

Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” with your students. Then tell them that they will change the song to sing about Abraham Lincoln’s clothes. Sing the lyrics written on the chart paper once, and then invite students to join in. Once they get the hang of it, start to add the appropriate movements by pointing to each piece of clothing on their bodies. Each time, sing the song a little bit faster to see how quickly you can go!


Click Here to Subscribe to Scholastic Teacher Magazine