Whether you’re married, in a relationship, single, or it’s complicated, Valentine’s Day gives all of us an extra opportunity to show some love. Love can be expressed in anything from a small verbal affirmation to a grand commercialized gesture. It can also come from a person of any age- it doesn’t matter if they’re 97 or 7 years old. Which brings me to celebrating Valentine’s Day with my second grade class.
You may have heard of the term Galentine’s Day, where women choose to celebrate the love they have for their girlfriends, moms, daughters, etc. This idea of Galentine’s Day got me thinking…if women can coin their own term, why not kids?
And so, may I propose: PAL-entine’s Day! A day for kids and their pals. Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion for kids to show their version of love to their friends. This is no secret, as classrooms across the country have been making DIY heart-covered mailboxes and exchanging little store-bought paper punch out Valentine cards for years. I’m piggybacking on this tradition with activities to help remind my students what it means to show love and kindness, as well as be a good friend to others.
One of the ways we did just that is with these Pal-entine’s Day Friendship Books. Each page has different individual, partner, or whole group activities to promote love and friendship at school.
We had a meaningful class discussion about what it means to be a good pal and how they can show that they care about their friends. The kids were able to do some reflecting and show their thinking on the following writing pages:
(I know that “has integrity” is not technically an adjective, but that’s one of the life skills we’ve been focusing on in class this month, so I happily let that one slide).
Students were then paired up with a pal that they could get to know better through these interview-style pages:
And lastly we did a couple of activities in our Friendship Books that involved our whole class. We went on a Scavenger Hunt around the room to look for pals that fit different descriptions. The kids loved getting to learn some new things about their friends:
For the very last page of the book, each student put the page shown below on their desk. We did a “scoot” activity where I had everyone rotate to each other’s desks. Each time they came to a new desk, they wrote what they love most about that particular student. This way, each person got to have a compliment from everyone in the whole class and all of the kids were able to see how much they are valued by their friends.
The kids LOVED making their friendship books and I’m sure they will make a wonderful keepsake.
After we completed this activity, I also wanted to have a visual reminder in the classroom about how we can show love throughout the year. We made these L-O-V-E flags and hung them up as a banner. They’ll make our classroom look very festive all through February!
What are some ways that you help your students show love at school for Valentine’s Day (and/or the other 364 days of the year)? Feel free to share in the comments! If you’d like to try out any of the ideas I’ve talked about here, you can visit my TPT shop to get my printable PAL-entines Day Friendship Book and L-O-V-E flag banner.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Galentine’s Day, and Happy PAL-entine’s Day to you and the ones you love!