February brings us lots of reasons to celebrate: it’s Black History Month, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and we’re only a month or so away from Spring! In my classroom, February is all about Friendship!
On today’s blog, I want to share my favorite tips for celebrating friendship in your primary classroom. I weave the theme of friendship throughout so many of my lessons in February. From friendship-themed literacy and math centers to sweet arts and crafts, the only downside is that February is the shortest month of the year!
Tip #1: Read a Valentine’s Story for Emergent Readers
Get your little learners excited to spread love and friendship this month with this cute printable Valentine’s Day book, written especially for emergent readers. Your students can add color to the images as you discuss things they love. Cupcakes, flowers, candy, and books: there’s a lot to love about this little book. The last page is blank so each child can add his or her own favorite person or thing that they love.
I love cupcakes. What do you love?
I love hearts. What do you love?
With each page, you’ll see their confidence rise! Oh, and did I mention it’s a FREE download?
Tip #2: Write a Friendly Letter
A great way to introduce this lesson is to read a book about letter writing. One of my favorites is Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale by Josh Funk. After you model what friendly letter writing looks like, it’s time for your students to start composing letters of their own!
Children can write to a family member, classmate, teacher, or even a favorite author. Have fun brainstorming possible letter recipients together! We talk about how nice it feels to receive a letter or card in the mail. The students get so excited about sending something that will brighten another person’s day.
We review the five main parts of a friendly letter and list out our brainstorm ideas for words or topics to use:
- Heading – We review how to write out dates properly.
- Greeting – We brainstorm different greetings and talk about when Dear Mr/Mrs is appropriate vs. Hey, what’s happening!
- Body – We talk about how to write in a friendly tone and brainstorm interesting details to include.
- Closing – We list out possible closing words, such as sincerely, see you later!, and love, again talking about when each is appropriate to use.
- Signature – We make sure to include our names!
After completing their letters, we seal them in envelopes, add a stamp, and place them in the mail!
Tip #3: All About My Friend
Another way to celebrate friendship is to practice describing what makes our friends so wonderful! For this All About My Friend activity, we focus on using descriptive words to paint a picture of a favorite friend.
You know I love using anchor texts, and it’s no different this time around! Before we begin our work, we read some picture books about friendship. I ask students to look for characteristics that make a good friend. We brainstorm different ways we can describe someone:
- Appearance – what do they look like?
- Likes & dislikes – what are their favorite and least favorite foods, games, animals, etc.?
- Personality – are they funny, quiet, playful, sweet, etc.?
- Fun facts – how did you meet, what do you play together?
Once we have done a lot of brainstorming, my students work on writing a description of their friend. In the end, I invite students to share their work out loud. They are so proud to share about favorite friends!
Tip #4: Create a Friend Flip Book
The “All About My Friend” activity can easily be turned into a friend flipbook. After working on their final drafts celebrating a favorite friend, you can transition into arts and crafts time as students design and decorate their own books!
GOOD NEWS!! I grouped the three resources mentioned above into one download. Leave me your email below and I’ll send them right to your inbox! 🙂