February is the sweetest month of the year! You can just feel the love with all of the Valentine’s Day talk and goodies around you. I love to tap into that feeling and carry it over into the classroom. February is a great time to teach all about friendships and kindness. There are many other things to celebrate this month, too. President’s Day, Black History Month, and Groundhog Day are all fun editions to classroom lessons. Today, I’m going to share some fun February activities for your classroom.
Engaging Activities for the Entire Month
#1 Set the Mood with Read-Alouds
This just might be my favorite fun February activity! Books are the perfect way to set the tone for a unit, a lesson, or even a theme. I love how my entire class is able to come together and enjoy a story. There’s nothing quite like it.
So, I like to introduce February by reading books such as Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli, and The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond. These delightful picture books set the tone for our February theme and lend themselves well to lessons and activities of their own.
#2 Book Companions & Literature Guides
I love teaching a variety of skills and concepts using a picture book. A good book makes the lesson so much more interactive and engaging for your students. Plus, you can cover so many standards at the same time. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is the perfect book for a February book study activity.
I like to incorporate activities where students are encouraged to think critically and creatively while completing a variety of activities focusing on skills such as :
- Making predictions
- Cause and effect
- Identifying theme
- Compare and contrast
- Compound words
- Adjectives, nouns, and verbs
If you aren’t sure where to start, take out your list of standards and see what needs to be covered. Use the standards as your guide as you are preparing your lesson. Or, grab my Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch Unit, and dive right into all of these activities and more.
While this book study is perfect for February, I love to use them all year long. You can find even more literature guides and book studies in my store.
#3 Writing Centers
Writing can be fun for everyone if we set our students up for success. I do this by providing them with a solid path. Too many choices and open-ended topics can leave our students distressed with writer’s block. After all, without a starting point, there are millions of things you could write about. That can be very overwhelming for our students.
I like to provide students with limited choice as they complete a writing activity. I allow my students to pick from a deck of cards specific choices for the plot, characters, setting, and items. This eliminates the overwhelm while still providing choice. I like to set up all the cards and guided writing activities in the writing center. Students will start by choosing the cards for each of the story elements.
Before jumping in with their writing students will be guided through activities to help them think through their characters and setting. This focused time really makes character development and setting the scene easy when students are ready to write.
Students will use the guided writing worksheets to think through descriptions of their characters and to describe their setting with details.
Next, they’ll complete a story map and story summary. That’s right – one more planning step before they actually start writing. This step guides students to make an outline of their story. It is super helpful to be sure their story has a beginning, a middle, and an end in logical order. I don’t know about you, but this slowed-down, guided approach to writing was not how I first started teaching it. But once I started I never looked back!
Next, it’s time for a rough draft and editing. Depending on the age of your students you can do this in different ways. You can edit with them or have them peer edit. At this point in the process, I love to provide them with a word list with examples of transition words, vivid verbs, Valentine’s words, and great sensory words to amp up their stories for their final drafts.
For the final draft, have your students complete it in a journal, on a decorative sheet of paper, or on plain writing paper. Illustrating their stories is always a fun added bonus.
Then, you can hit those speaking and listening standards by having them present their stories to the class. If you’re short on time you can pick up my resource You Can Write a Valentine’s Day Story that’s already done for you. It’s available in digital and print formats.
Everything is more fun with a game! This makes them the perfect fun February activity! I like to include games in my lessons whenever possible. They are awesome for an interactive review of a topic or skill. Creating your own version of games like Memory, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Connect Four is easy to do. Just grab some practice questions, form teams, and get playing. No fancy board game is needed. Draw a game board on the front board and just have fun practicing and reviewing.
Games are so versatile. They can be used for whole group instruction, small group work, centers, early finishers, and extra practice and reinforcement. One of my favorite review activities is Powerpoint Games. These Jeopardy-style games are engaging and fun for everyone. Here are a few of my February favorites that are perfect for practice and review this time of year!
February is Black History Month
We can’t plan our February lessons without making sure to teach our students about Black History Month. This blog post will also give you some great teaching ideas for Black History Month that you and your students will love. While we can teach our students about the significant contributions of African Americans in our country all year long, I also like to bring special attention to these amazing men and women during February.
One of my favorite book studies of the year is Pies from Nowhere by Dee Romito. This wonderful book details the life of Georgia Gilmore, an important African American woman who played a critical role in the civil rights movement. This literature guide will help you teach this important figure and her accomplishments while also working on key reading skills.
When teaching about people and history you can’t go wrong with biographies. These African American biographies are a great way to connect social studies and reading instruction. Your students will love learning about these famous Americans and their accomplishments.
I want to do my part in sharing the love this month, so I’m offering this fun Minute to Win it Valentine’s Day Game pack for FREE! Your class will be divided into teams of four while completing these 7 challenges. You and your students will absolutely love this fun February activity for your classroom. Use it as part of your class Valentine’s Day party or as a class reward.
You can also find more free February activities in the Member-Only Free Resource Library. Here are just a few of the February freebies you will find!
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Save these February Activities
Be sure to save these fun February activities for your classroom to your favorite board. You can revisit them for a full month of fun!