Literature Based Lesson for Valentine's Day21:24
As an educator, we all know that students become good readers and writers by practicing reading and writing. We also know that reading alone is not enough, children need to comprehend what they read or what is being read to them. That is why I feel it is important, from as early as preschool on, lessons should be based around literature. When I am teaching a thematic unit, I want my students to become immersed in the lessons. Throughout our day I want students to continuously build connections and relationships between characters in stories and the world around us. It is my hope that throughout the year teacher guided activities will become more student driven activities.
My favorite Valentine activities revolve around the story, The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond. This story allows for great discussions, sequencing, inferencing and story recall activities. I like to have students close their eyes and visualize what it would be like to see hearts falling from the sky like raindrops. This visualization alone peeks interests and helps students focus in on key events. As, I read the story, I pause and ask students questions to keep them actively involved. The students are all aware of the rule of our reading interactions and wait their turn to share thoughts and ideas. For instance, as Cornelia Augusta is making the valentines for her friends, I like to ask them what they think she is doing and whom she is making her valentines for. After the recipients receive their valentines I like to have them discuss how each valentine was individualized for each animal.
After we read the story, we review all of the main events. Prior to the lesson I write sight words on die-cut hearts (in preschool I would write each child's name on a heart) I show the boys and girls several different hearts and ask them to identify the words. Then, I ask them if they would like to see it rain hearts. I throw the sight words on a giant play parachute and the boys and girls shake the parachute until all of the hearts have flown off. Each child grabs one heart and tries to read the word to a friend. You may need to move to the gym or outside to complete this activity. This would work well at the end of the lesson as well.
To review the characters in the story, I have the boys and girls complete the "I Love Characters" printable. In this printable they will draw the four friends that Cornelia Augusta sends valentines to. They love to discuss the characters as they draw.
After students have reviewed the characters in the stories, I like them to recreate one of the valentines from the story. Most of them want to make a "dog collar," but since most humans do not wear collars, we make heart necklaces. Later, in the week they will create a valentine for someone special in their life using suggestions from Cornelia Augusta. They will use what they are know about them (like interests and hobbies) to create something extraordinary.
I also like to sneak in a little color word review with this cute Colored Hearts book. In the story Cornelia Augusta tells the readers that no two hearts were exactly alike. All of the hearts are unique and different in this reproducible as well. Kindergartners have had enough practice that this would be a great finish early book.
In preschool I would underline the color word with the matching color and they would color the heart to match.
The activities are simple yet very effective. The boys and girls will discuss the book throughout all of the activities and throughout the week and we near Valentine's Day. Click (here) to get all of the activities above for free!!
by Little Giggles and Wiggles