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In this well-developed Valentine’s Day lesson, kids create Valentine e-cards to send to their parents
Language Arts, Computers & Internet
3, 2, 1
By – Rebecca Haden
Primary Subject – Computers / Internet
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – 1-3
Concept / Topic To Teach:
- Valentine’s Day E-Cards
- Operate a computer system using input and output devices.
- Use appropriate technology to communicate with others.
- Recognize holidays and celebrations as a way of honoring cultural customs.
- Write letters or emails.
- Use English to communicate in social settings (National TESOL standards)
- Use appropriate technology and language arts skills to send a Valentine’s Day greeting.
- Use mouse and keyboard.
- Use text boxes and scrollbars.
- Write and proofread a Valentine’s Day greeting.
- Use computer to send a Valentine’s ecard.
- Computer access
- Paper and writing utensils
- Eve Bunting’s The Valentine Bears
Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):
- Read Eve Bunting’s The Valentine Bears . In the story, Mr. and Mrs. Bear have never celebrated Valentines Day before, since they are always hibernating at this time of year. This year, though, Mrs. Bear planned ahead to make a special surprise for Mr. Bear on this special day.
- Discuss ways that students’ families observe special days. If holidays are observed in the school, discuss ways that this is done in school as well. Elicit the exchange of Valentine’s Day cards as an example.
- Read the special valentines that Mrs. Bear made for Mr. Bear. “Termites are sweet, and you are too,” is one line from one of her cards. Enjoy Mrs. Bear’s sweet sentiments, and suggest that this would be a good time to write a Valentine’s Day card to a family member.
- Suggest that nowadays we often send ecards (electronic greetings) instead of paper cards. Review previous discussions of internet safety. Tell students that they will be able to take turns sending greetings to their parents.
- Give students time to compose a brief Valentine greeting or poem on paper.
- Visit students individually to offer encouragement or suggestions for proofreading.
- Navigate to an ecard site such as Care2’s family Valentine’s page ( http://www.care2.com/send/categories/valentines-day-family# )
which has three ecards for parents with wildlife photos.
Another option is “I Like You” at the main Valentine’s page ( http://www.care2.com/send/catvalentine1.html ) or
the bears on illustrator Jan Brett’s Valentine ecard page
- As students complete their message drafts, have them use the mouse to identify and click on their choice of ecards. There will be a button labeled “personalize.” Students should click on this button, again using the mouse.
- A text box will appear. Students should use the keyboard to input their greeting. Have students proofread their messages, using the mouse and keyboard to correct any errors (as developmentally appropriate).
- The next text box offers a menu of greetings. Have students use the mouse to scroll through the greetings and choose; they could also use the keyboard to input “Happy Valentine’s Day” in the text box.
- Students should now put their own and their recipients’ (their parents’) email addresses into the text boxes. Care2 is a safe site, but students should be supervised according to classroom policies. Have students scroll down and click on “send now.” Alternative: if you do not want students to send the cards, they can “send” cards to classroom partners with the “preview” button or print a card and envelope generated at the Jan Brett site: http://www.janbrett.com/pdfcards/pdfcardgenerator_valentines.htm
Plan For Independent Practice:
- Encourage students to send cards to grandparents or other relatives with parents’ supervision at home.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
- Jan Brett is the illustrator of The Valentine Bears . Print out her Valentine bookmarks to give to students. She also has Valentine ecards, Valentine’s coloring placemats and Valentine’s coloring pages to download. Cursive bookmark: www.janbrett.com/bookmarks/bookmarks_valentines_day.htm
Printed bookmark: www.janbrett.com/bookmarks/bookmarks_valentines_day_printed.htm
Coloring placemat: www.janbrett.com/place_mats/valentines_coloring_place_mat.htm
Coloring page: www.janbrett.com/i_love_my_students.htm
Coloring page: www.janbrett.com/hedgies_valentine_for_you.htm
Coloring page: www.janbrett.com/valentine_coloring_page.htm
Assessment Based On Objectives:
- Were students able to produce and send a greeting? This is a self-checking activity.
Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):
- This lesson is appropriate for diversified instruction as written, since it allows students to work at their own levels and their own pace.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
- Encourage students to write poems for their greetings.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
- The Valentine Bears brings up hibernation, adaptation, and the foods animals eat.
- The Care2 site donates to rainforest protection whenever someone sends an ecard.
- The combination of these two factors makes this lesson a good seasonal extension of animal and habitat units.
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