Valentine Day Month

Welcome to our February page where our love grows larger and larger with each story, song, and work of art.

February's Bulletin Board Feature:

Your students will become very involved in this fun story. Encourage them to wonder why the hearts are sad after Valentines Day. Don't tell them. Make note of the hearts each day during February. 

 

You will need three fairly large red hearts. Draw a happy face on one side, a frowny face on the other side of each heart. Post the three happy hearts on board where children will notice them. Mention to them how happy the hearts are to be included as decorations in your room. Without explaining why, turn the hearts over to their sad faces the day after you have your valentines’ party. Encourage the students to notice that they are no longer happy, but tell them why. Let the children wonder about it through the rest of the month.

On the last school day of February tell the story of the Throw Away Hearts. Exchange the red hearts for the green hearts. Lay them into a shamrock as you tell the story. See picture below. Draw happy faces on the green hearts that make up the shamrock.)(Story can possibly be told on flannel board at the last day of February. Tack small squared of flannel on each heart.)

THE THROW-AWAY HEARTS

by

M. C. Arvanitis

 

Once upon a time there were three happy hearts. They lived on the bulletin board in Ms. Millie classroom. A calendar hung beside them. The heading on the calendar read “February”. It had a red X on the number 14.

Ms. Millie showed her class the three happy hearts and then made note of the number 14 on the calendar. “This is Valentines day. On this day we will have our Valentines party,” she told her class.

The three hearts watched Ms. Millie mark off the calendar days one by one. When Valentine’s Day came the children exchanged Valentines. The three Hearts were as excited as the students. 

But after the party Ms. Millie drew Xs over each February day until there was only two days left. The hearts began to worry. “What will happen to us when February is gone?” Heart One wondered.

“They will throw us in the trashcan,” answered Heart Two, “Nobody uses hearts to decorate school rooms after February.”

“Not the trashcan!” cried Heart Three.

“Don’t panic,” Heart One said, “Maybe we can think of a way Ms. Millie can use us next month.”

On the last day of February Heart One asked. “Have you thought of any thing, yet?” 

The other two shook their heads.

Heart Two cried, “We are done for.”

“Crying will not help,” scolded Heart One. He looked at the next calendar page. “The next month is March. In March spring comes and the grass turns green.”

“I have an idea,” shouted Heart Two, “What If we turned green?”

“It is worth a try,” said Heart Three. “Close your eyes and imagine being green.”

When they opened their eyes they had turned green. “Now Ms. Millie won’t throw us in the trash!” shouted Heart Three.

Heart One frowned. “It won’t work. No one needs hearts after February, not even green ones.”

Heart Two started to cry again. “Tomorrow morning Ms. Millie will change the bulletin board. What are we going to do?”

“We can’t give up,” said Heart Three, “Let’s put our heads together and think.”

“That is it!” shouted Heart One.

“What?” asked the others.

“Putting our heads together,” laughed Heart One. “Look at the March calendar. There is a special holiday called St. Patrick’s Day.”

“So?” asked Heart Two.

“It is marked with a shamrock leaf. The leaf looks like three hearts with their sides together.”

“Good idea. We’ll become a shamrock.” laughed Heart Three.

The three hearts moved together, their sides touching. Heart One pulled a green stem from a paper flower on the bulletin board. He placed it on their bottoms. “Now we look like a shamrock leaf!” he exclaimed.

The next morning Ms. Millie came in early to decorate her room for the new month. The Hearts held their breaths as she took down all the hearts around the room. When she started to decorate the bulletin board she saw the green shamrock leaf.

“Where did this shamrock come from?” she asked herself. “It is just what I need for this month.”

The Hearts gave sighs of relief as Ms. Millie marked number 17 on the March calendar. She told her class, "On this day everyone should wear something green, and we'll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day." The hearts knew that they would be safe for another month.

Action on last school day before March. Putting the green hearts together to become a happy Shamrock for March's room decoration. Draw a happ y face on each heart.

Cooking in the Classroom: Puppy Love Cookies

(Recipe from Pillsbury.com)

Ingredients

1 package (16 oz) Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookies (24 cookies)

3/4 cup fluffy white whipped ready-to-spread frosting (from 12-oz container)

1/3 cup chocolate creamy ready-to-spread frosting (from 16-oz container)

24 large pink and red heart-shaped candy decors. pieces of licorice strips.

Instructions:  

Heat oven to 350°F. (Only aids or teachers are near the oven) 

On ungreased cookie sheets, place 12 cookies 3 inches apart for puppy faces. Let students use table knife to cut remaining 12 cookies in half; Have them place 2 halves on sides of each whole cookie for ears. (see photo.)  Bake 9 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cooking sheets. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. 

Have students frost puppy face with white frosting and ears with chocolate frosting. Decorate each puppy with heart shapes for eyes and nose.  You can use frosting for the mouth but it is easier for little fingers to place small strips of licorice into a happy mouth.

(Make enough for each child to sample at school and take home after school.)    

 

 

Example of how to cut cookie dough to Make Puppy Love Cookies.
This Month's Coloring page, Graciously shared by Raising Our Kids.com

February Activities

Our focus on emotions this month is of course, love.  Love of self, and love of others. Love of self builds self-esteem. Our featured Puppet Dialogue helps to build your students the self-esteem they will need to succeed in their lives.  

My other story, Hurshal Lost, tells of a child's first love, his or her precious stuffed toy. The activities for this story will instill a special pride in your student of the 'love' bear he/she makes. Some of my students kept their bears until they were grown.

 

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PUPPET DIALOGUE: I wish I Were Never Born.

 

I Wish I Were Never Born

By M. C. Arvanitis 

 

TEACHER: (Hold puppet’s head down. look over the puppet.) You look unhappy this morning. Is something wrong?

 

LINDY: Everything is wrong! I woke up with a headache.  I didn't have any milk for my breakfast cereal. I forgot to prepare for this morning’s story time. I wish I had never been born.

 

 TEACHER:  It would be a different world if you hadn’t been born.

 

LINDY: Well, no one would miss me.

 

TEACHER: You are right. We couldn’t miss you if you hadn't beenborn because we would never have known you. We have to knowsomeone in order to miss them. But since you have been born and youare our friend we would miss you if you were not here.

 

LINDY: Would you really miss me?

 

TEACHER: Of course, we would. I remember the first day we met you, when I introduced you to our class. Don’t you remember?

LINDY: Yes, I remember. I was so shy of meeting the children.

 

TEACHER:  Do you remember how the children made you feel betterby singing with you? After that whenever you were around us youmade us all feel good with your songs and stories.

 

LINDY: Well, yes, but sometimes I still feel useless. I still wonder why Iwas born.   (Have puppet bow its head as if sad.  Use a sad voice.)

 

TEACHER: We all feel that way once in a while, Lindy, but wehave to remember that each of us was born for a reason. We each have special things that we can do. You were born to share your stories andsongs with us. If you hadn’t been born we wouldn’t be able to hear your stories and sing your songs.

 

LINDY: You mean if I had not been born I wouldn’t be able to be herewith you and the children?

 

TEACHER: That is exactly what I mean. You were born so youcould be here with us and make us laugh and sing.

 

LINDY: And dance!

 

TEACHER: (Laughing) Puppets can’t dance. They don’t have legs.

 

LINDY: I can if you’ll help me.

 

TEACHER: Do you really want to dance?

 

LINDY: Oh yes.  I was born to boogie--to twist--to do the hop—tocut the rug--to trip the light fantastic.  Where’s the music? Where's themusic?

 

TEACHER: Well, if you think you can dance I have some musicright here.  Come on everyone. Lets dance with Lindy.

 (Play quick stepping music and dance around the room movingthe puppet to the beat. Encourage children to dance with the music.)

 

LINDY: (Out of breath.)  That was fun. It made me tingle all over.It’s so good to be alive. I’m glad we all were born. But now, I’m tired. Ithink I’ll take a nap.

 

TEACHER: I hope you will come back tomorrow because we wouldreally miss you if you didn’t. 

 

LINDY: Oh, I’ll be back. I can’t wait until I tell you my next story.Good-bye everyone.

 (Retire puppet to its place. Discuss with students what they do that is special.)

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HURSHAL LOST (print off and read)

HURSHAL LOST

By  M. C. Arvanitis

   On their way home from vacation Anthony’s family stopped at a motel for the night. Anthony hugged his teddy bear, Hurshal, as he fell asleep in the motel bed. He was still asleep when Mom carried him to the car early the next morning. He slept all the way home.

   Wake up, we are home,” Mom called as they drove into their driveway. Anthony was glad. Hurshal and he didn't like to ride in cars for such a long time. He reached for Hurshal. His teddy bear wasn't there. He looked on the floor -- No Hurshal! "I can't find Hurshal," he shouted.

   “Oh he has to be here somewhere.” Dad looked all over in the car. “But I don’t see him in the car anywhere.”

   Anthony started to cry. Where was Hurshal? Mom took his hand. “Don’t worry. We’ll find your bear. He’s probably packed away in the luggage somewhere. We’ll look when we get everything in the house.” But when all the suitcases and Anthony’s back pack were emptied Hurshal was nowhere to be found.

    Mom looked at Dad. "Honey, didn't you get Hurshal from the motel?"

   "I thought you picked him up,”  Dad answered.

   Anthony shouted, "You left Hurshal at the motel?"

   “Now calm down, I’ll call the hotel and see if they found him.” When Dad clicked off his cell phone he smiled. “Good news. The desk clerk said they found Hurshal and would mail him home right away.” 

   Anthony ran out to wait on the curb by the mailbox. Soon Dad sat down beside him. "Hurshal won't be here for a couple of days, you know. It takes time to mail a package somewhere."

   "But Hurshal can't sleep without me,” Anthony sobbed.  Daddy handed Anthony his new blue bear Grandma had given him for Christmas. "Will this bear do until Hurshal gets home?"

  "No!" Anthony threw the bear on the ground and stamped his foot. "I want Hurshal."

   "I'm sorry but you will have to do without Hurshal for a couple of days,” Dad said.

   That night Anthony couldn't sleep even when Mom rocked him. "Let’s talk about Hurshal," Mom said. "What do you like about him?"

   "I like the way he smells, and his raggedy ears and his wrinkly nose."Mom pulled Anthony’s nose and laughed, “Just like yours?” She put Anthony into his bed and pulled the quilt up to his chin. "Think happy thoughts about Hurshal and you'll be asleep before you know it."

   Mom was right. Anthony thought of Hurshal and went directly to sleep.

   Two days later when the package came Anthony tore off the paper. Under the paper was a shoebox. He was afraid to lift the lid. What if it was someone else’s bear in the box?

   Open the box,” laughed Mom. Slowly Anthony lifted the lid. His bear looked up at him with his teddy bear smile. He hugged Hurshal. "I'll never let you get lost again," he promised. And he never did.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

** (Note from author: Hurshal is a true story that happened to my grandson when he was a preschooler.)

C 2011 by M.C. Arvanitis  (This story is free and may be shared so long as author is given credit.)

Graphic of boy and bear  from FotoSearch.com

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To make Hurshal, the teddy bear, cut out two bears shaped as in the example. Use felt and let the student choose the color he or she wishes. Glue on felt eyes, nose, and a strip of red yarn to make mouth. You can add buttons also if child wishes. When all is dried, place the pieces together, and glue around the edges of the neck, arms, body and legs. (leave top open.) When dry punch holes around the edges and let child sew the bear together with yarn from bottom of ears, weaving the yarn under and over.( Like a flower growing up out of the ground.) Save enough yarn to go up over the ears and head. Do not tie the yarn yet. Carefully stuff the bear with small pieces of cotton batton pushing it into the arms and legs. Let the student decide if his/her bear is a chunky bear with lots of cotton or a skinny bear with less cotton. When stuffed close the top of the bear, glue edges, and continue to sew, Tie the left over yarn into a neat bow at the top, or if the student doesn't want a bow, tie it tight and clip off the left over. You can also make a neck bow by placing yarn or ribbon around its neck. Now have the student name the bear. The more choices the child has in making the bear, the more the bear will belong to him/her. Some of my students kept their bears until they were grown.
Photo of the finished "love" bear.

February Art Activity

February is a good month to practice cutting with sissors and what is easier than to cut out hearts.  Fold a square piece of paper, have student draw a half heart with the flat edge of the 1/2 heart on the fold. Lay several sizes cardboard half hearts on the art table so the student can draw around them. Keeping the paper folded, have student cut out the half hearts. When open of course they become  hearts. Have glue sticks available and a large heart drawn on light blue paper, Have children make various colors and sizes of hearts to glue on the inside of this base heart, making a colorful heart display. 

Silly Love Song

Our Silly Love Song. 

(Taken from the famed singer and actress, Doris Day’s classic Bushel and a Peck. For the tune go to UTube and search for Doris Day ‘Bushel and a Peck.‘)

My students still remember the words and how much fun it was to sing  Here are the words and the actions.– 

(Action: Arms out forward.)

 I love you,

(Action: arms stretched out.)

A bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck

(Action: crisscross arms and touch neck.)

And a hug around your neck.  A hug around your neck,

(Action: Lift arm above head.)

And a barrel and a heap,  A barrel and a heap,

(Action: lay head on hands together.)

And I’m taking in my sleep about you!

(Action: wiggle hips.)

Doodle doodle do do, Doodle do do, Doodle doodle do do, do.

(Action: Point to front.) 

ABOUT YOU! 

 

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Another classic:

If you haven’t read the classic, "The Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", You should have it on your list to read. Ridiculous, but so funny your students will ask for it over and over. Now author, Lucille Colandro has another one out. That lovely old lady has returned just in time for Valentine's Day. Now she's swallowing items to make a very special gift for her valentine!

With rhyming text and hilarious illustrations, this wacky version of the classic song will appeal to young readers as they follow the Old Lady on a wild Valentine's Day adventure.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose!  by Lucille Colandro 

Link: http://amzn.com/0545352231

 

 

Amelia Bedelia is back!

In searching for books we may want to feature in February, I ran across 

'Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine' by Herman Parish.

Being a long time fan of the Amelia Bedelia's series  about the lovable, literal-minded housekeeper written by Peggy Parish, I check it out. Herman Parish, the nephew of Amelia Bedelia's creator, Peggy Parish, (who passed in 1988), has continued in his aunts footsteps, bringing Amelia Bedelia to a new generation of readers. This new series of books show us what Amelia was like as a child. Check out more of his books at his Amazon author's page. 

Link:  http://amzn.com/0062032755

 

Love You Forever

Love You Forever 

by Robert Munsch 

Link on Amazon.com : http://amzn.com/0920668364

This classic book should be in every pre-school library. The mother sings to her sleeping baby: "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be." She still sings the same song when her baby has turned into a fractious 2-year-old, a slovenly 9-year-old, and then a raucous teen. So far so ordinary--but this is one persistent lady. When her son grows up and leaves home, she takes to driving across town with a ladder on the car roof, climbing through her grown son's window, and rocking the sleeping man in the same way. Then, inevitably, the day comes when she's too old and sick to hold him, and the roles are at last reversed. Each stage is illustrated by one of Sheila McGraw's comic and yet poignant pastels.

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Ms. Marge | Reply 09.02.2014 10.53

Thanks for dropping in Cindy. And thanks for sharing with your grandlove. :)

Cindy | Reply 08.02.2014 15.04

Wonderful ideas to incorporate into caring for my grandlove! Thanks so much! Look forward to more!

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Latest comments

24.11 | 08:27

Thank you, Drue for dropping in to Ms. Marge's school. It was so nice to hear from you Glad you like our music. :)

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23.11 | 20:18

Dear Marge, Good happy catching music. This is a great help for teachers and pupils alike. Can be used, in the home, in school and care centers. Thanks.

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23.11 | 14:52

Right -- once a teacher -- always a teacher -- I hope other teachers will use my curriculum. Thanks for stopping by <3

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23.11 | 14:42

Hi, Ms.Marge, great webpage, A teacher never retires, once a teacher, always a teacher. Right? Happy days. :)

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