4 Valentine's Day Literacy Activities for Younger Students

Holidays are typically accompanied by class parties, school assemblies, and other celebratory events. Valentine’s Day this year is a great opportunity to incorporate educational activities into your elementary or middle school student’s holiday plans. Engaging Valentine’s Day literacy activities for younger students can include writing a personalized letter, composing a poem, or creating a word search. 

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, students can practice literacy skills while joining in on the holiday spirit. Here are four Valentine’s Day literacy activities for younger students: 

1. Write a personalized letter

Have your child choose someone to write a letter to—a family member, for instance, or a friend, a teacher, or anyone they look up to. They could even write a letter to a fictional character or celebrity. Your child may already have ideas of how they’d like to express their appreciation for this person, but prompts you could also suggest include: 

  • What qualities do they admire about the individual?

  • What activities do they enjoy doing together (if applicable)?

  • What are they thankful for about the person?

The letter could be a simple “I’m thankful for you,” “I love you,” or “I’m glad you’re my friend.” Writing a letter is a great way to practice the conventions of letter-writing, including a greeting and closing, as well as indenting and dating the letter. As an added bonus, have your child address an envelope to the recipient.

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2. Write a heartfelt poem

Poems have a long and storied history of expressing love and appreciation and are perfect for Valentine’s Day. There are excellent K-8 poems that can be found online—these would be great to read together for fun and as a model for their own poem. Besides rhyming poems—perhaps the most well-known of poems—discuss other types of poems your child may or may not be familiar with, including: 

  • Acrostic poems, where the first letter of each line spells out a word.

  • A concrete poem, in which the poem takes on the shape of an object. In this instance, the words could be arranged in a heart shape, for example. 

  • Haikus, a shorter option that helps children practice syllable recognition.

3. Make your own Mad Lib

Mad Libs are silly, fun, and often a hit with elementary and middle school students. Try making a Mad Lib with your child by writing a story together, then choosing some words to replace with blanks. This is a great way to practice parts of speech, if your child is at that level. Just like a published Mad Lib, add instructions to the blank, specifying whether a noun, verb, or other part of speech is needed. You could also get more specific by labeling each blank with categories like animal, sound, or car. This is a great family activity where the Mad Lib can be used more than once. 

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4. Do or create a word search or crossword puzzle

Word searches and crossword puzzles are excellent ways to practice reading and critical thinking skills. Depending on your child’s skill level, they can do a word search or crossword puzzle, or they can make one of their own. Have your child come up with a list of Valentine’s Day-themed words, write them in the shape of a box, and fill in the remaining spaces with random letters. 

Crossword puzzles are great for more advanced students. Again, have your child come up with a list of words, place them in a crossword shape, and come up with a list of numbered definitions or hints that correspond to the words.

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Whether or not your child’s classroom celebrates Valentine’s Day, the four activities above are fun ways to engage with language. These could be a special personalized gift for a family member, or they could even be made in multiples to give out to a class.

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