Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is fast approaching!  I am getting ready to send out my February homework assignments for my second graders to complete for the month of February!  They are fun and encourage the children to be creative and challenge them to use their creativity all the while learning or practicing skills that they have learned in school.

The first activity is Be My Valentine.  This is a writing activity where they write a letter to me, convincing me that they should be my chosen Valentine.  This is my FAVORITE holiday activity!  I have done this in my 4th grade classes each year and it fell right into place for persuasive writing.  They had to write a great "grabber" sentence in the introduction, three persuasive body paragraphs, and a "hook" paragraph to wrap things up!  For my second graders it falls right in with my writing lessons for writing a friendly letter, except they need to persuade me to pick them.  The winner of my contest gets lunch with Mrs. Pluta- they get to pick 4 friends to join them.  I provide the dessert and a movie to watch while we eat lunch!  To help pick the winner; I take home all the pieces of writing, and I read them to my family and they pick which piece of writing is the most convincing to Be My Valentine.  This way there is no chance of favoritism! 
My second Valentine activity is for each student to create a Valentine Mailbox out of recycled material.  They need to create a container that will hold all of their Valentine's that they receive on Valentine's Day.  There must be an opening that the children can reach into to get their Valentine's - so that the creation is not destroyed.  Each year, their ideas get better and better!  I have attached a slide show that shows some of the ideas that my students have created in the past, which is wonderful for showing the kids to help them get their creative minds working. 
One year- I had a young man create a puppet-- he held the puppet in his hands and people put their Valentine's Day cards inside the mouth--  you may ask yourself "where did they go from there?"-- Well, he had a bag that was attached to the mouth-- just like a stomach!  Very creative!  I have had creations made from Lego's, one that looked like a car engine, a piggy bank, gingerbread house, robot, crazy heart shaped box, giant container mailbox..... the list goes on!  They love this activity and so do I--  it really shows a piece of the child that is sometimes missing in our lessons-- the creative side!  Also-- it is a great way to learn more about the child, just by looking at how they decorated their box, container or their creation! 

Click here to download a copy of my letters to my parents and students:

Happy Valentine's Day Mailbox

Be My Valentine

Mailbox Ideas to help you get started!

Enjoy!  And Happy Valentine's Day to you and your students!  Blog your ideas on how you and your student's are celebrating Valentine's Day!

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