February Read-alouds for 1st and 2nd Grade
February is a month full of fun holidays. We chose our books for this month to help students celebrate. We LOVE every book selection this month. We closely read each book and spent 3 to 4 days asking text dependent questions as we dove deep into the key ideas and details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge and ideas within the stories. Our students completed a graphic organizer each day of the close read, as well as a fun craftivity. You can read more about text dependent questions and interactive read-alouds here if you are not familiar with them.
Groundhog’s Day Off by Robb Pearlman
Since Groundhog’s Day is at the beginning of the month we started off with ‘Groundhog’s Day Off’ by Robb Pearlman. In this fun story, Groundhog is bored of doing the same thing every year and feels unappreciated, so he decides to take a day off. He sets out for a vacation right before Groundhog’s day and the town has to frantically try to find someone else to fill his position. None of the other animals are a good fit. When Groundhog returns and realizes everyone missed him, things turn out to be a lot better for him and he enjoys his important job again. After our first close look, students completed a who, what, where, and when story map that looked like a cute newspaper clipping. For the next close look, we had the students complete a similar story map, but they put a spin on it by writing their map using a different holiday character, such as the Easter bunny. On the final close look, they wrote an exclusive news report about the holiday character. Then they completed a cute groundhog craftivity and chose which newspaper writing they wanted the groundhog to be holding.
The next book we read for this month was ‘Dragon Loves Tacos’ by Adam Rubin. This story is about a boy who wants to throw a party for dragons. Of course he plans to serve tacos at the party. He makes chicken tacos, beef tacos, big, and small tacos for the dragons. He is very careful not to put salsa in any of the tacos because he knows that dragons cannot eat anything spicy or things get really hot! The students couldn’t wait to find out what happens when the dragon takes the bite of the spicy salsa. After reading the book and answering text dependent questions on the first read, the students completed a key ideas and details graphic organizer which was in the shape of tacos. For the second close look, we discussed the cause and effect in the story. We also had the students meet some of those hard to teach speaking and listening standards on this day. See more how we teach speaking and listening standards here. On the final day we had students use the writing prompt ‘_______ love _______’ to come up with a spin off story of their own. They loved it! They also created super cute dragons as the craftivity.
Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright
We just love the Love Monster series and could not resist adding ‘Love Monster and the Last Chocolate’ by Rachel Bright to our February read-aloud list! Love Monster finds a box of chocolates on his doorstep and he can’t decide if he should eat them all by himself or share them with his friends. In the end, he learns that sharing makes him feel good about himself, which is worth more than a box of chocolates. This story is perfect for February because it is about friendship and the value that sharing with others brings to your life. On the first read, the students completed a somebody, wanted, but, so, then graphic organizer after answering the key ideas and details text dependent questions. After the second close look we answered the craft and structure text dependent questions and the students discussed Love Monster’s feelings throughout the story. They recorded his feelings on a graphic organizer. For the final close look, we answered the integration of knowledge and ideas text dependent questions and the students created love coupons to give out. The love coupons had acts of service the students could provide. They really enjoyed thinking of nice things they could do for others. Then they created the Love Monster craftivity which they LOVED!
A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger
Our students loved this sequel to Crankenstein. ‘A Crankenstein Valentine’ by Samatha Berger is a light hearted and fun story about a boy who hates everything about Valentine’s day. He grunts and groans towards anything related to the holiday until he meets a girl who feels the same way about Valentine’s Day. They both realize that Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad when you meet someone who feels the same way as you. After the first close look, the students jotted down things from the text that made Crankenstein say, “Yechhhh” on a heart note-catcher. Then they wrote down the Valentine’s day activities from the story and how the activities made Crankenstien feel. On the final close look, they made the Crankenstein craftivity and wrote a poem for him to hold. No surprise- their favorite part was drawing hearts on his underwear! As always, we answered text dependent questions after each time we revisited this story as well.
‘I am Abraham Lincoln’ by Brad Meltzer was the perfect book to help celebrate President’s Day and Lincoln’s birthday this month. This biography is a great introduction to Abraham Lincoln for primary students. It takes you through Lincoln’s childhood and his adult years. It discusses the changes Abraham made for the United States. There were many points in the story where the students were able to use conversation strategies to discuss the meaning of this text. Check out some of our conversation strategies here. The text dependent questions really helped the students understand this text on a deeper level. We started diving into the biography by jotting down key facts. Then students chose an event from the story and wrote why it was important. On the final lesson they created a pop-up timeline of Abraham Lincoln’s life, by putting the important events from his life in the correct sequence.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
We wanted an old favorite to read to our students this month and we couldn’t resist adding the classic ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein to the list of read-alouds. In the story the boy eats the tree’s apples, swings on the tree’s branches, and sits in the tree’s shade. As the boy grows older he wants more and more from the tree and the self-less tree continues to give until it has nothing left. This book teaches the importance of giving, which is perfect for February. After the first close look, students wrote what the boy asked for and what the tree gave him. After the second close look, they completed a graphic organizer about the character traits of the tree as well the character traits of the boy. Finally, the students wrote ways they can give to others and they created a 3-D giving tree craftivity.
Your class will love these interactive read-aloud lessons. For Valentines Day, the kids chose their favorite read-aloud and decorated their boxes to represent it. We promise, once you try a read-aloud this way, you will NEVER go back to your old ways.
You can purchase each read-aloud lesson individually by clicking on the links or images above or as a monthly bundle by clicking on the link or image below. We also have a Kindergarten and First Grade Interactive February Bundle available!