If you don't have a writing center in your classroom, get one! Independent writing activities and writing centers offer great opportunities for you kindergartners to practice handwriting, build their vocabulary, and gain confidence as storytellers and writers. Here are some great activities to include in this year's Valentine's Day unit!
Create special Valentine's Day journals by re-purposing old valentines from years past.
Select valentines for the journal cover - laminating them for durability.
Create several journaling page options - we chose to include:
- Blank drawing paper.
- Graph paper.
- Lined writing paper.
We created plain paper cutouts, but you might consider gluing the pages to recycled valentine cards for extra stability and durability.
Have students choose a cover and a packet of pages (include several sheets of each type of journaling page and paper clip them together to make the process easier).
To assemble, use a paper punch to create holes in the upper left corner of the booklet and secure with a binder ring.
[NOTE: This example journal was made from recycled playing cards - a valentine journal would work the same!]
During your Valentine's unit, have students use the journals to draw the people they love, complete writing prompts (i.e. "I love ____________ because ____________.", "What do you love to do?", etc.), and design special valentine cards for friends.
Conversation Heart Sentences
Create heart cutouts with common sight words and classroom vocabulary words. Invite your kiddos to use these words to create simple sentences. Because the concept of sentences may be a bit overwhelming, provide illustrations and pictures for inspiration. You might also consider providing specific word sets for each image as a way to guide students in sentence writing. For example:
Set up a scenario similar to this - one side of the board displays part of a generic sentence with interchangeable noun cards (in this instance we've used a car) and the other side of the board offers students three conversation hearts with describing words that can be used to make sentences. Students must decide whether the words on the heart make a true or false statement based on the noun card presented.
Invite students to move the first conversation heart to the end of the sentence. In this case, the completed sentence reads, "The car is red". Based on the noun picture card, this statement is true.
Remove the first heart and repeat the process with the next heart. Here the sentence reads, "The car is brown". Checking back to the noun picture card, this is an untrue statement.
Invite students to try the last conversation heart, making the sentence read, "This car is fast". Once again (based on the noun picture card presented -- a sports car), this is a true/reasonable statement.
As they complete the activity, have laminated writing paper and a dry erase crayon for students to use in copying the sentences. For every "false" statement, have students revise the sentence to read, "The ______ is not _______". For the example above, students would have penned, "The car is not brown".
Valentine Image/Message Matching
Here's another great way to use recycled valentines (or free printable valentines like these from Kate.net). Gather several pairs (i.e. matching sets) of valentines - on one card cover up the graphic or image and on the other cover up the message. Using the message clues, invite students to match the right message to the right illustration.
Your students are sure to be kept busy with these fun Valentine's Day writing activities!