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February 8, 2012 Valentine's Day Books To Love By Andrea Spillett
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so start bringing out the foam pink hearts, red paint, and chocolate candy kisses because you'll need them for the book ideas that I am going to share with you!

    Franklin's Valentines

    Written by Paulette Bourgeois

    Illustrated by Brenda Clark

    How can anyone not love Franklin! He wins your heart in every story, and this one is no exception. In anticipation of the Valentine's Day party at school, Franklin loses the cards that he made for all of his friends. As the students hand out their Valentine's Day cards, Franklin is heartbroken because he doesn't have any to pass out. Franklin decides to remake the cards and give them out on Friendship Day, which he declares can be celebrated 365 days of the year!!! Every student and teacher can easily relate to losing something extremely important. Franklin's Valentines is the perfect book for your students to share their own life experience about loss when discussing of the story.

    An activity to do with this story is the Sequence Circle from the Scholastic Printables. The students will be able to use this graphic organizer to retell the story by using transitional words such as first, then, finally, and after.


    Dear Bunny: A Bunny Love Story

    Written by Michaela Morgan

    Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church

    Your students will love listening to this book! The text is expressive and the illustrations are absolutely adorable. The story is about two bunnies who like one another but are too shy to say anything. Instead, they both decide to write letters and put them in the same hollow log so the other will find it. Unfortunately a mouse family makes the hollow log their home, and the letters are nibbled up and made into their warm cozy bed. When the mice hear the sobs from the two saddened bunnies, it is up to them to come up with a big idea to make sure this love story ends with a hoppy ending.

    An activity to integrate with this story is to have your students write their own Valentine's Day card using Valentine's Day stickers with words on them like best friend forever, whiz kid, and awesome. 

    This activity is inspired by a card I received in my fourth year of teaching! Thank you Weston!!!



    Love Letters

    Written by Arnold Adoff

    Illustrated by Lisa Desimini

    I know your students will enjoy listening to these blue ribbon, award winning, and beautifully crafted poems. The first five letters take place in a school setting. The inspiration behind the activity actually comes from this book. The poem: "Dear Teacher: I hope you never find out this red heart is from me. I like to stay quiet in the class crowd. Yours As A Mouse. "

    In the spirit of creativity, staple a foam or construction paper heart to a piece of writing paper. The students are to make the heart into something real, such as a person, a butterfly, or even a mouse like the one from the book. Use this opportunity to have your students write their own poem about what they made.


    The Hershey's Kisses Addition and Subtraction Books

    Written by Jerry Pallotta

    Illustrated by Rob Bolster

    Books integrating Hershey chocolate kisses and math! I'M IN!!!! It is the perfect combination to teach students how to write their own story problems and review math concepts all at the same time.

    Using the book as a model, the students can invent their own addition or subtraction story problems for each other to solve. The rest of the project was given to me by a colleague at a neighboring elementary school! Thank you, Debbie Lindbo!  All you need is red paint, a painbrush to paint the students hands and some white construction paper. Ohh and don't forget the Hershey's Kisses!!! A perfect activity to "ADD" to anyone’s lesson plan on Valentine's Day!

    PS: The Valentine's Day hats that are in all of the pictures are my Valentine's Day card to the students. They are so easy to make. Cut out hearts and staple them to a sentence strip. Write "Happy Valentine's Day" on the front and staple a foam heart to it. That's it, and they look so cute!!!

    Share The Love! We'd love hear about your favorite Valentine's Day books and ideas!!!


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Susan Cheyney