Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to work with kids on the topic of love. From here, you may dive into special people in their lives and how they feel about them. Many children may have a difficult time discussing their feelings, so being creative during this process will help them to be more comfortable. Additional topics and focus could be on friendships, sharing, caring, and how to express your feelings with words. Speech and language skills will work well with all of these possibilities.
Begin with some stories about Valentine’s Day and allow groups to chat about the story as you read. Provide time to make predictions, talk about vocabulary, and connect to individual speech and language goals. Ask kids to connect things in the story to their Valentine’s Day celebrations or feelings of love. Take time to think of additional ways to express feelings and words that we often use to say it to others. Older multilingual students may enjoy reading a book in English and the other language they know to compare and contrast them. A few story ideas include:
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Colandro
- Love Matters Most by Mij Kelly
- The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
- Slugs in Love by Susan Pearson
- If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
- What is Valentine’s Day? by Elaine Landau
- Who Will Be My Valentine This Year by Jerry Pallotta
In addition to this, be sure to look for multicultural books on love. There are some beautiful stories that will be perfect to share with children. I’m Not the Nanny has a list of 10 Multicultural Children’s Books about Love that could be used now or anytime during the year.
When finished reading books, take time to make Valentines with the kids that they may bring home. Have a model card ready to share with the group. Allow creativity to flow by providing colored paper, glitter, stickers, markers, and other supplies for them to make whatever they would like. Take time to go around and talk about who the card is for. Why is this person special in their life and how would they describe the person to someone who doesn’t know them? Give time to write a message inside. For older children, encourage them to practice their writing skills. Younger children may need help if they are shy about utilizing inventive spelling. Practice saying words and getting them to hear all of the different sounds as they talk.
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