Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Books, Activities and Resources for a Valentine’s Day Montessori Circle Time

NAMC montessori activities resources Valentine's day circle time
I have found that students (especially preschool and kindergarten students) can be particularly titillated by holidays. It is my belief that it can be much more manageable to incorporate the holiday into a circle time or lesson than to try and pretend it is not happening. Though some sensitivity and awareness is necessary when planning the incorporation of holidays into the Montessori classroom (not all families will share the same beliefs), discussing holidays in the classroom is the perfect opportunity to plan a cross-curricular activity and cover important concepts such as peace, love and friendship.

Begin your circle time by reminding your Montessori students that it is a special day. Ask them if they know what today is. After they tell you that it is Valentine’s Day, ask them what that means. What happens on this day? Why do we do what we do on that day? Remember to be aware of students who may not celebrate this day. Depending on the interest of your students, you could share a simple story of the history of Valentine’s Day. If necessary, help prompt and elicit the ideas of love and friendship from your students with the help of some fun activities and reading.

Books, Activities and Resources for a Valentine’s Day Montessori Circle Time

NAMC montessori activities resources Valentine's day circle time boy giving girl flower
During this time, you could choose to share a book about Valentine’s Day and/or love and friendship. At this time, you’ll want to begin to move the conversation toward peace. You can do so by introducing a song or poem about peace. Reading a book or sharing a story about an African American peacemaker would tie nicely with African American History Month and introduce a cross-curricular component to your lesson. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph J. Bunche are both possibilities. As well, Chinese New Year begins on February 14 in 2010. You could explore peace-related activities surrounding Chinese New Year, a time of reunion and thanksgiving, as another cross-curricular activity. It is now time to bring the discussion of peace outside circle time and introduce a peace-themed art project or poem writing activity that students can complete independently.

Previous NAMC blogs on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day Books for the Montessori Classroom
  • Valentine's Day: A Day of Friendship and Love, by Terri Dougherty
  • My Heart Is Like a Zoo, by Michael Hall
  • Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! (If You Give...) by Laura Numeroff
  • Valentine's Day Is… by Gail Gibbons
  • The Ballad of Valentine, by Alison Jackson
  • Bloom! A Little Book About Finding Love, by Maria Van Lieshout
  • Valentines Are For Saying I Love You, by Margaret Sutherland
Peace, Love and Friendship Books for the Montessori Classroom
  • Working Together (Keeping the Peace), by Pam Scheunemann
  • Finding the Friendship Dolls: A True Story How Children Can Help Create World Peace through Toys, by Charlotte Pack
  • The Peace Bell, by Margi Preus
  • Hug Time, by Patrick McDonnell
Other Valentine’s Day Resources
The NAMC Lower Elementary manual, Five Great Lessons and Cosmic Education and Peace, provides further ideas and activities related to peace education.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. This year the upper el. class is making Valentine Cards for the residents at two local retirement homes instead of sharing cards in class. Our school puts on a Grandparents' Day Tea on Valentine's Day as well where the kids sing and entertain them.

    ReplyDelete

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As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

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