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February 20, 2016

Valentine's Day Craftivity

One of my favorite holidays is Valentine's Day! For my self-contained special needs classrooms, we can cover a variety of concepts with a fun craft such as:

*Colors: pink, red, white
*Shapes: hearts, circles
*Vocabulary: paint, glue, tinsel, sponge brushes
*Sequencing the story/book
*Concepts: prepositional locations "on top" "under" "next to" and "over"
*-WH questions

First, we began by reading an adorable book, Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Scott Campbell.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!  I was unfamiliar with it and our awesome school librarian suggested it.  At first, I was a bit nervous about reading a book about a zombie to the students for fear that he might scare them, but they seemed to love the story and pictures.  Most of the students were actually familiar with zombies from their experiences playing the game MineCraft.

The story is about an adorable but lonely zombie named Mortimer.  After we finished listening about Mortimer's search for undead love, we went out to our craft tables to make a valentine hand print heart to take home as a gift to family members.  Normally I have SmartySymbol labels for everything we use, but this was kind of a spur-of-the-moment craft idea so I just had to run with what I had.

Most students really enjoyed the sensory portion of this craft in using sponge paint brushes to place the paint on their hands.  We talked about how it felt, if it tickled or felt tingly and what the paint felt like (wet, smooth, sticky).  It was great for following directions because the students had to "stamp" one hand first (we talked about left vs. right) and then overlap in the middle and stamp with their other hand.  When we stamped with pink, each student got to excitedly say "here goes pink!" and repeat the process with the red.  Lots of clinical and teacher modeling, repetition, and guidance to make this a fun and easy and QUICK craft that the students really seemed to enjoy.  We finished the project by taking some heart tinsel (another great sensory material, they loved how it felt and we talked about the textures, shiny and smooth) and made a loop so the valentine could be hung up for display. 

I also have an exciting announcement... I'll be opening up my own TeachersPayTeachers store to offer free and very low-cost materials, especially fun book companions that can help you target different areas when using a book.  Here is a sneak preview of my first listing, which will be free for everyone! I hope you will like it.  Stay tuned for more as I grow this new project into something amazing. 


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