Looking for ideas of what to teach in February?
Here are some ideas to get you started!
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There are tons of quirky, funny, and interesting holidays this month. You can find a whole list here. Here are some of the important ones that you’ll want to mark on your calendar:
- February is Library Lover’s Month
- It is also Black History / African American History Month
- February is National Haiku writing month
- The first day of the month is International Black Women in the Arts day
- February 15 is No One Eats Alone Day
- Presidents’ Day (do you have a free day?!) is third Monday of the month.
Editing Skills/ Journal Prompts
If your school participates in mandatory state testing, it is right around the corner! You may want to replace your daily journal prompts with writing warm ups that incorporate grammar, mechanics, and usage skills.
Mentor sentences or “sentence of the day” can also help fine-tune those writing skills that will be evaluated on your tests.
By this time in the school year, your students have probably already written narrative essays and feel comfortable with them. They are probably ready for expository writing or persuasive writing.
If you’ve been successful with writing workshop, keep it going! Your students are in the groove and feeling comfortable with the process. If you haven’t tried writing workshop, give it a try!
You may also be thinking about creating a writing portfolio for your students. This is a good month to start gathering and sorting (and finding!!) writing samples that your students will want to include in their portfolios.
Since February is “Library Lover’s Month,” why not host a month long reading challenge or invite your school librarian to host a book tasting.
For Valentine’s Day try a “blind date with a book” event. Our local library did this with wrapped books. It was a cool way to encourage readers to pick up a new book. Your school librarian can help you with this as well.
Encourage your students to read a biography. There are so many wonderful biographies for middle school students — and many about athletes that students are interested in learning more about. I love the Matt Christopher books that a fast-paced and address sports topics that my students love.
Additionally, with February being Black History Month, students can choose a biography that connects the month-long celebration with their reading.
Be sure to take advantage of the Super Bowl commercials! These clever commercials off you a way to teach propaganda. Your students will love the opportunity to watch and analyze them. (You can find a propaganda workbook here.)
Speaking & Listening
If you have time this month, try to squeeze in a book talk!
I am always promoting them because students will read books that their peers recommend!
You can also have students create a movie trailer for a book in addition to (or instead of) a book talk.
As you gear up to prepare for state-mandated testing, you’ll want to freshen up and review grammar skills with your students.
Use writing warm ups (as mentioned above) to review. Or have your students use their own writing folders, drafts, and completed essays as material to review grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
It’s helpful for students to work together to analyze and practice these skills. This also helps relieve some of the boredom that results from strictly teaching and practicing grammar.
Ask students to apply the rules you review in their own writing. This can be as simple as asking students to respond to a journal prompt using dialogue like this:
- Fred and Edwina are eating lunch together. They are discussing Edwina’s latest lunchbox creation: a lima bean and mustard sandwich. Write their conversation.
Need more? I have a variety of grammar lessons in my store.
This month offers tons of great opportunities for your students to practice research skills.
Choose a famous African American for your students to research. Their research can be as simple as a ten-point “did you know?” list to complete.
You can find a list of 100 Greatest African Americans on Wikipedia – but be sure to review to make sure the choices are appropriate for your students since some biographies may contain adult themes.
Other ideas of what to teach this month? Let me know in the comments!
And are you ready to start planning for next month?? If you’re ready for inspiration for the month of March, check out this post!
Enjoy this month!