Bring hearts and valentines into the classroom with these cross-curricular crafts and lesson plans.
- Develop social, emotional, and cultural awareness
- Enhance language and literacy skills
- Practice sequencing skills
- Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Norman Bridwell
- Whiteboard or chart paper
- Markers for whiteboard or chart paper
- Clifford's First Valentine's Day: What Happened First? Activity printable
- Clifford: Connect-the-Dots Activity printable
- Trace the Bb Activity printable
- You Are the Best Valentine Activity printable
- Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
Step 1: Ask your students to share what they know about Valentine’s Day. Make sure they come away with an understanding of the meaning of the holiday, as well as traditional Valentine’s Day activities.
Step 2: Discuss the word always and its definition. Ask students to think of things they always have to do. Make a list on the board.
Step 3: Next, discuss the word perfect and its definition. Ask students to decide whether things in life always happen perfectly or not. Ask why things may not happen perfectly all the time.
Step 4: Tell students that they are going to hear a story about Emily Elizabeth and her dog, Clifford, whose birthday is Valentine’s Day. Explain that things don’t always go perfectly for anyone, even on special days such as Valentine's Day. Ask the class before you read to pay attention to why things don’t go perfectly for Emily Elizabeth and Clifford.
Step 5: Read Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day to the class.
Step 6: Following the read-aloud, ask students the Story-Based Questions listed below. Or you may ask questions throughout the story, depending on your students’ needs.
Step 7: Have students work as independently as possible to complete the Clifford's First Valentine's Day: What Happened First? Activity printable, Clifford: Connect-the-Dots Activity printable, and Trace the Bb Activity printable, or work on them as a whole group.
Step 8: Work with students to complete the You Are the Best Valentine Activity printable.
- For whom was Emily Elizabeth making Valentine’s Day cards? (Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa)
- Why did Emily Elizabeth give Clifford paper? (He wanted to help.)
- What did Emily Elizabeth use to stick decorations on her valentines? (White paste)
- Did things go perfectly for Emily Elizabeth as she was preparing her valentines? What went wrong? (Things didn’t go perfectly. Clifford chewed on the paper instead of cutting the hearts out; he got white paste all over his paws; and he got lost in the mail cart.)
- Was Emily Elizabeth successful in mailing her valentines? (Yes, she did get them mailed.)
- What happened after Emily Elizabeth started to paste her valentines? (Clifford got white paste on his paws.)
- What happened before Clifford was lost in the mail cart? (Emily Elizabeth pulled open the door to the mail chute and Clifford went down the chute.)
- Which event happened first: Emily Elizabeth cleaning up the sticky mess or Emily Elizabeth going to the post office? (Emily Elizabeth cleaning up the sticky mess.)
- What event happened last: Emily Elizabeth receiving a Valentine’s Day card from Clifford or Clifford going down the mail chute at the post office? (Emily Elizabeth receiving a Valentine’s Day card from Clifford.)
- To whom do you think Emily Elizabeth gave the biggest valentine? (Clifford)
- Can you think of a time where you were trying to do something and it didn’t go the way you wanted it to? What did you do? (Answers may vary.)
Ask students to identify objects around the room that begin with the sound /b/.
Pre-Kindergarten Common Core Standards, based on New York State standards
- Pre-K Counting and Cardinality Standard: Identify "first" and "last" related to order or position.
- Pre-K Reading for Literature Standard: With prompting and support, answer questions about details in a text.
- Pre-K Language Standard: Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g. duck as noun and verb).
- Pre-K Writing Standard: With prompting and support, use a combination of drawing, dictating, or writing to narrate a single event and provide a reaction to what happened.