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February 5, 2018

Engaging Literacy Activities for Valentine's Day

By Juan Gonzalez
Grades 3–5, 6–8

    Valentine’s Day is almost here! Today, I’m sharing some activities that celebrate the holiday of love, give students a chance to practice literacy skills, and are a lot fun!

    Give a "Bookentine!"

    We give Valentine cards to the people we love, but what about the books we love? This activity was created to give students a chance to express their love for a book. Not only is the activity cute, but it creates another way for readers to share their reading!

    You can create these cards any way you best see fit for your classroom. I found this card template on Scholastic Teachables and I thought it was perfect! You can grab it free through 2/14/2018, or any time with their 30-Day Free Trial. Click on the image below see the template.

    Here are the steps I used to implement this activity with my readers:

    1. Ask your students to think of a book they’ve read that deserves a Valentine card.
    2. Have the students illustrate things on the card that represent the book and encourage them to give the characters, setting, etc. a Valentine twist!
    3. On the inside of the card, ask your students to explain why they chose their book to be their Bookentine.
    4. Have the students share their Bookentines with the class when they’re finished or at the classroom Valentine’s Day Party!

    Check out some of my student creations below. Their words will put a smile on your face.

    Read Poems in Groups

    I love poetry because it gives us a lot content in a small package. A great way to experience poetry is to read aloud with peers. Together they can discuss the poem, practice expression, and build fluency. Click on the picture below to see the poem I found on Scholastic Teachables and get it free for a limited time.

    This Valentine’s Day, run off your favorite poem on colored paper, group your students, and let the reading begin! Once the students have had some time to practice and discuss the poem, invite them to share their reading with the class. This would be another great activity for Valentine’s Day parties.

    Practice Text Features With Heart

    Warning: this next activity is not for the squeamish. With all the talk about hearts on Valentine’s Day, why not show the students the inner working of the most important organ in our body, the human heart? I used this activity to review text features with my students in small groups. I'm sure my students will never forget how to use a diagram after working on this "Parts-of-a-Heart" diagram!

    To complete this diagram, I pulled up a large colored illustration of a heart on my laptop using Google Search. I then showed my students the different parts of the heart and discussed how each part works to help with blood flow. The real fun began when I shared the words like superior vena cava and right atrium with my third graders.

    During the activity, one of my students said, “Mr. G, this is just gibberish!” The entire group erupted with laughter. By the end of the lesson, the students had a better understanding of a diagram, how it’s used, and this even piqued the interest of some of my students to learn more about the human body.

    After the lesson was finished, the students colored the different parts of the diagram on their own.

    Illustrate Similes with Love

    Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield is one of my all-time favorite poems. In this poem, the narrator shares all the different and simple things there is to love about life. Once you finish the book, you can’t help but reflect on all the amazing love you have in your own life.

    I share this book with my students and have them create an easy art project to review similes. The students brainstorm various ways they can use similes to explain love. Finally, they use their art skills to create an image that goes with the simile they created. It's quick and can easily be adapted to your classroom with the use of markers in lieu of paint. This makes for a great hallway display and a keepsake for parents.

    Tell Me Something Good

    Here is an engaging activity to do during your Valentine’s Day celebrations. The students will walk around the room and share positive messages with their classmates in a game I call Tell Me Something Good.

    Here is how to play:

    1. Give each student a sheet with a heart image on it.
    2. Ask the students to write their name inside the heart.
    3. Have the students leave the sheet on their desk and stand up.
    4. Students will rotate to every desk and write a positive message on their classmate’s sheet. The teacher will decide which rotation will work best for his/her classroom. I like playing music during this activity. Once the music stops, the students will rotate.
    5. The rotation will end once the students return to their own desks.

    Click on the image to download a copy of the heart sheet.

    I hope you found these activities useful for your classroom! Happy Teaching and Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Stay connected with my classroom on Instagram! Click Here

    Valentine’s Day is almost here! Today, I’m sharing some activities that celebrate the holiday of love, give students a chance to practice literacy skills, and are a lot fun!

    Give a "Bookentine!"

    We give Valentine cards to the people we love, but what about the books we love? This activity was created to give students a chance to express their love for a book. Not only is the activity cute, but it creates another way for readers to share their reading!

    You can create these cards any way you best see fit for your classroom. I found this card template on Scholastic Teachables and I thought it was perfect! You can grab it free through 2/14/2018, or any time with their 30-Day Free Trial. Click on the image below see the template.

    Here are the steps I used to implement this activity with my readers:

    1. Ask your students to think of a book they’ve read that deserves a Valentine card.
    2. Have the students illustrate things on the card that represent the book and encourage them to give the characters, setting, etc. a Valentine twist!
    3. On the inside of the card, ask your students to explain why they chose their book to be their Bookentine.
    4. Have the students share their Bookentines with the class when they’re finished or at the classroom Valentine’s Day Party!

    Check out some of my student creations below. Their words will put a smile on your face.

    Read Poems in Groups

    I love poetry because it gives us a lot content in a small package. A great way to experience poetry is to read aloud with peers. Together they can discuss the poem, practice expression, and build fluency. Click on the picture below to see the poem I found on Scholastic Teachables and get it free for a limited time.

    This Valentine’s Day, run off your favorite poem on colored paper, group your students, and let the reading begin! Once the students have had some time to practice and discuss the poem, invite them to share their reading with the class. This would be another great activity for Valentine’s Day parties.

    Practice Text Features With Heart

    Warning: this next activity is not for the squeamish. With all the talk about hearts on Valentine’s Day, why not show the students the inner working of the most important organ in our body, the human heart? I used this activity to review text features with my students in small groups. I'm sure my students will never forget how to use a diagram after working on this "Parts-of-a-Heart" diagram!

    To complete this diagram, I pulled up a large colored illustration of a heart on my laptop using Google Search. I then showed my students the different parts of the heart and discussed how each part works to help with blood flow. The real fun began when I shared the words like superior vena cava and right atrium with my third graders.

    During the activity, one of my students said, “Mr. G, this is just gibberish!” The entire group erupted with laughter. By the end of the lesson, the students had a better understanding of a diagram, how it’s used, and this even piqued the interest of some of my students to learn more about the human body.

    After the lesson was finished, the students colored the different parts of the diagram on their own.

    Illustrate Similes with Love

    Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield is one of my all-time favorite poems. In this poem, the narrator shares all the different and simple things there is to love about life. Once you finish the book, you can’t help but reflect on all the amazing love you have in your own life.

    I share this book with my students and have them create an easy art project to review similes. The students brainstorm various ways they can use similes to explain love. Finally, they use their art skills to create an image that goes with the simile they created. It's quick and can easily be adapted to your classroom with the use of markers in lieu of paint. This makes for a great hallway display and a keepsake for parents.

    Tell Me Something Good

    Here is an engaging activity to do during your Valentine’s Day celebrations. The students will walk around the room and share positive messages with their classmates in a game I call Tell Me Something Good.

    Here is how to play:

    1. Give each student a sheet with a heart image on it.
    2. Ask the students to write their name inside the heart.
    3. Have the students leave the sheet on their desk and stand up.
    4. Students will rotate to every desk and write a positive message on their classmate’s sheet. The teacher will decide which rotation will work best for his/her classroom. I like playing music during this activity. Once the music stops, the students will rotate.
    5. The rotation will end once the students return to their own desks.

    Click on the image to download a copy of the heart sheet.

    I hope you found these activities useful for your classroom! Happy Teaching and Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Stay connected with my classroom on Instagram! Click Here

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