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February 10, 2011 Books and Activities for Valentine's Day By Nancy Jang
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Making and giving out cards to classmates, eating conversation hearts, and decorating in pink and red are all fun Valentine's Day activities. But don't let this holiday go by without sneaking in a little bit of curriculum, too. Join me as I peek into some of the other classrooms at my school to show you some great ways of squeezing some extra learning into all of the Valentine's Day festivities.


    My Picks

    The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves

    By Gail Gibbons

    Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

    By Diane deGroat

    The Biggest Valentine Ever

    By Stephen Kroll

    Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!

    By Laura Numeroff

    The Day It Rained Hearts

    By Felicia Bond

    The Night Before Valentine's Day

    By Natasha Wing

    Will You Be My Valenswine?

    By Teresa Bateman

    In a few kindergarten classrooms at my school, they use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to teach students about the mail system. Children make a mailbox with the numbers of their home address, dress up as a mail carrier with a mail bag, and deliver cards. They also learn to write their address and phone number by heart.

    In 1st grade, one of my colleagues uses this holiday to introduce kids to the cardiovascular system and talk about how to keep your heart healthy. For more on this see Scholastic's Have a Heart unit and Healthy Heart lesson plan.

    In my 2nd grade classroom, I try to review math concepts from earlier in the year using Valentine's Day and hearts as a theme. We also graph conversation hearts and use the data as the jumping off point for 25 more math questions. I love the site Really Good Stuff, where you can download teacher's guides and black line masters even if you don't order anything from their Web site. For instance, check out this free downloadable activity guide for graphing candy hearts. We also complete a glyph and play bingo with heart words. Read a post about using glyphs from my Classroom Solutions colleague Allie Magnuson.

    For our class's card exchange, I designed a frog holding a mailbox. Each child will make one using construction paper and a recycled cereal box wrapped in butcher paper. One of my 2nd grade teammates had her children make emperor penguin mailboxes. Both of us love creating crafts for our class, so we made the stencils for the mailboxes. If you need a ready-made idea for mailboxes, FamilyFun magazine has great templates for creating mailboxes, cute cards, and other fun classroom crafts. I also love the blog One Pretty Thing and, of course, Martha Stewart for crafting inspiration.


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Susan Cheyney