For such a short month, February has a plethora of subjects to explore.
Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, Presidents’ Day and Groundhog’s Day!
Here are some of our favorite February read aloud books and some fun activities.
"Groundhog Gets a Say" by Julie Markes is a fun and creative take on the classic Groundhog Day story. Gus is tired of always being woken up early on February 2nd and never getting to have a say in the matter. He decides to take matters into his own paws and come up with his own prediction. This book is a great way to teach children about the importance of standing up for themselves.
"Groundhog Weather School" by Joan Holub is an educational book that is perfect for young children who are learning about weather and seasons. It follows a group of groundhogs who attend a special school where they learn how to predict the weather.
"Substitute Groundhog" by Pat Miller is a heartwarming story about a young groundhog named George who steps in to fill in for Punxsutawney Phil, the famous weather-predicting groundhog. George is not accustomed to the limelight and is nervous about his ability to predict the weather, but with the help of his family and friends, he learns to believe in himself.
There are way too many Valentine's Day books that I adore to write about them all! Here are a few of my favorites.
The Day It Rained Hearts
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose
Love is a Handful of Honey
Arnie the Doughnut
Worm Loves Worm
The Biggest Valentine Ever
In my Heart
"Someone Loves You, Mr. Hatch" by Eileen Spinelli is one of my all-time favorite Valentine's Day books! The story is about a lonely and grumpy man named Mr. Hatch, who is surprised to receive a Valentine's card from an unknown sender. The card changes Mr. Hatch's life as he begins to see the kindness and love of the people around him.
"A Crankenstein Valentine" by Samantha Berger is much loved by young readers. The story follows the character of Crankenstein on Valentine's Day, who is experiencing a bad mood and doesn't want to participate in any of the Valentine's Day activities. As the story progresses, Crankenstein's friends try different ways to cheer him up, but nothing seems to work. The book is a lighthearted and fun way to teach children about emotions and how to deal with them.
Do your kids love Crankenstien? Here is a fun activity that also helps fine motor skills! Give your little learners green, black and pink construction paper. Cut and fold the black paper for arms and legs. Let them pick which emotion their Crankenstien is feeling!
Black History Month
I am Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Story of Ruby Bridges
National Geographic: African American History Makers
"Have You Thanked an Inventor Today?" by Ann McCallum tells the story of a boy who goes on a journey through time, meeting inventors of the past and present, and learning about the impact of their creations on everyday life.
"Mae Among the Stars" by Roda Ahmed tells the story of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut to travel to space. The book is a beautifully illustrated, inspiring story of Mae's life, from her childhood in Alabama to her journey to space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. It is a powerful and uplifting story that encourages children to dream big, work hard and never give up on their goals.
I love hearing the goals and dreams of kids! After reading about Mae achieving her goals, ask your students what they want to be when they grow up. What characteristics did Mae have that helped her reach her dreams? Here is a cute activity to go with the book! Cut out a star and use a cotton swab and bright color paint and dot little stars. On strips of paper, have your students write (or dictate to you) 2 or 3 characteristics they saw in Mae.
And lastly on our docket we have Presidents’ Day!
"Celebrating President's Day: What Is a President?" by Kimberly Jordano and Trisha Callella-Jones is a children's book that provides an overview of the role and responsibilities of a president. It also includes information on the election process and how citizens can participate in the democratic process. It is a great resource for teaching children about the presidency and the importance of civic engagement.
"Kamala and Maya's Big Idea" by Meena Harris tells the story of how Kamala and Maya came up with the idea to start a community garden in their neighborhood and how they worked together to make it a reality. It also highlights the importance of community activism, teamwork and perseverance.
I hope that the February book round up has sparked some ideas and helped fill out your lesson plans for this busy but short month!