Oftentimes, we mistake Valentine’s Day for a holiday to express romantic interest in others when it is truly about much more than that! Although crushes are fun and exciting, it’s important to teach young minds about the significance of platonic love for friends and family who love and support us through it all. Here are 10 VALENTINE’S DAY TEXTS TO SPREAD THE LOVE! Use these themed books to introduce your students to this exciting holiday of love and appreciation.
Love from the Crayons by Drew Daywalt
These New York Times Best-Selling Crayons are back with a special Valentine’s Day edition! Each color has its own unique expression of love, as do we, the readers.
Teacher tip: After reading this text, let your students choose whichever crayon expresses their feeling of love this Valentine’s Day. Create crafts to put up around the room or to send home!
Love Is by Diane Adams
This book is a heart-warmer, for sure! A little girl rescues a duckling from the city streets, taking care of its crack-of-dawn feedings, bathing, and ruffling of feathers. But once the duck grows too big for the bathtub, the little girl must learn one of the hardest lessons of love… how to let go. In lyrical verse, this text explores both the difficulties and joys of giving and receiving love.
Teacher tip: Letting go is hard! Open a discussion with your students to discuss why sometimes this is the best thing you can do for someone or something. What would have happened if the little girl had decided to keep the duck in the house rather than setting it free? Does the duck still know that it is loved by the little girl?
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
Feeling out of place and unwanted amongst the adorable citizens of Cutesville, Love Monster takes matters into his own hands by searching for someone who loves him for who he truly is. Love Monster’s journey isn’t an easy one, but nevertheless, he winds up finding love in a place where he least expected it.
Teacher tip: We all know that Valentine’s Day can be a hard holiday throughout one’s pre-teen and adolescent years. This book is great for instilling in young readers an understanding that romantic love is not necessarily the “peak” of all love! Platonic love, i.e., friendships, are just as important and amazing in their own ways. Encourage your students to create and share Valentine’s Day notes with their beloved pals.
Little Critter: Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter! By Mercer Mayer
This much-adored book series takes on Valentine’s Day as this little critter spends the day eating cupcakes, decorating the classroom, and crafting Valentine’s Day mailboxes.
Teacher tip: Host your own Little Critter-themed Valentine’s Day celebration by allowing students to assist you with decorations, cupcakes, and crafts from the book! This would require a little bit of prep in the weeks prior to the day of love, but if you or your students are fans of these books, it could be fun and memorable!
Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool by James and Kimberly Dean
At the start of this book, Pete the cat thinks he’s too cool for Valentine’s Day. Pete’s attitude changes as he begins to realize just how many special cats he has in his life. Following this realization, Pete decides to make cards for family and friends to express his love and gratitude for these special people. But what happens when Pete forgets to make a card for a very special cat?!
Teacher tip: Dedicate some time for students to create Valentine’s Day cards for whoever their “special cat” is. Whether it is for a friend, teacher, parent, or crush, encourage the children to make their cards unique as they express their love for others.
Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat
This comedic Valentine’s Day story follows a young boy named Gilbert as he writes fifteen valentines for his classmates. With some nice and others not-so-nice, Gilbert runs into trouble when his letters get mismatched! With the assistance of honesty and a good friend, Gilbert figures out a way to get his class’ Valentine’s Day back on track!
Teacher tip: Discuss Gilbert’s prank and how it had a bigger impact than he expected. There can be a lesson here on how bullying affects others, and contrastingly, how kindness can do wonders for ourselves and others!
The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Blessings by Mike Berenstain
The beloved Berenstain Bears take on Valentine’s Day as Brother Bear receives a pink card from a secret admirer, which Sister Bear finds to be completely hilarious! Papa Bear explains to his two cubs about Mama Bear and his own love story, as well as how the true meaning of love is bigger than us all combined.
Teacher tip: This book contains a sheet of colorful stickers that feature the entire Bear family! You can use them to start a writing activity about the true meaning of love.
The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll
Students Clayton and Desmond set out working together to make a Valentine’s Day card for their teacher, Mrs. Mousely. But after Clayton added too much glitter, and Desmond included too many hearts, the two friends call it quits on one another and attempt to create their own individual cards. These boys learn a true lesson of love, cooperation, and friendship once they come back together after a realization that the two of them could make the biggest, best valentine ever.
Teacher tip: This book includes a sheet of foil stickers to be used as students make their own valentine cards! You can also brainstorm words that are associated with love.
I Spy With My Little Eye Valentine’s Day by Little Learners Publishing
This is a Valentine’s Day-themed interactive I Spy book! Intended for children ages 2-5, this activity book is perfect for young minds and little hands. With 40 pages to choose from, there’s enough content in here to be shared by a classroom of kids.
Teacher tip: Incorporate your own game of I Spy by encouraging students to seek out items you’ve strategically placed around the room. This game is perfect for any decorated or themed classroom!
Duck and Hippo The Secret Valentine by Jonathon London
Duck and Hippo are enjoying Valentine’s Day with their friends Elephant, Pig, and Turtle when they all receive unsigned Valentine’s Day cards. They all spend a good bit of time daydreaming about who sent them their mysterious cards. The cards tell them to come to the park at 4 o’clock to meet their secret valentines, and although it might not be what these animals expect, these friends know for certain that they love each other!
Teacher tip: Remind your students that Valentine’s Day celebrates all forms of love, especially friendship! If you haven’t already, encourage your students to write valentine cards specifically for their friends and family members to express their appreciation and love for those who are important to them. Another idea is to have them write their own Valentine’s Day mystery!
Whether it’s a crush, friend, family member, or teacher, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to express your love for others in a heartfelt and meaningful way. With these texts and resources, your classroom will be set to explore the powerful ways that we can let others know about our love and gratitude for them.
The full list of Valentine’s Day resources can be found on my Amazon list here.
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