Picture books and read alouds are a great way to bring a classroom community together, and Valentine's Day is a perfect day to share books about friendship, love, and kindness. Here are a few Valentine's Day books for upper elementary students that you can read aloud this February.
(This blog contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means that Amazon throws a few pennies my way if you purchase something through that link at no additional cost to you.)
1. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Hearts)
This book by Jo Witek discusses feelings and analyzes what is looks like through figurative language. The use of symbolism and figurative language makes it a great for older students.
Some days my heart feels as heavy as an elephant. There's a dark cloud over my head and tears fall like rain. This is when my heart is sad.
A nice extension activity to go along with it would be to have students cut out long hearts as pictured in the book, add a feeling word (perhaps one that they are feeling at the moment), and include their own figurative language for the emotions that go with it.
It is also a great book to use as part of your social emotional learning curriculum.
2. Valentine's Day Jokes for Kids: A Valentine's Day Book for Children
In this book, Chrissy Voeg includes many Valentine themed jokes with puns that are sure to get your students giggling. This book is great to share during Brain Breaks, transitions, morning meetings, or at the end of the day.
3. What the World Needs Now is Love
This book takes the lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and puts them into a beautifully illustrated picture book.
It's a great book to share with your students as it discusses the importance of love and calls everyone to make the world a better place.
As a culminating activity, you can play the song for the students.
A great follow up activity is to have students think of something that they experience that shows love and have them illustrate it. They can then write a short paragraph about "Love" and how it is shows up in their life.
5. A Wrinkled Heart
A Wrinkled Heart by Tracy Hoexter is about a day in the life of a fictional rabbit. As he goes throughout his day, different characters say things to him that "wrinkle his heart." At the end of the day, different characters try to resolve what has happened. It helps unwrinkle his heart, but his heart can not be unwrinkled completely. The moral is: Before you speak THINK. It's hard to fix a wrinkled heart.
This goes hand in hand perfectly with the wrinkled heart activity many teachers do at the start of the school year. Cut out a red heart out of construction paper. As you read the book, wrinkle the heart just a little. At the end try to unwrinkle it. Show the students that it is impossible to unwrinkle a wrinkled heart completely.
You may also choose to have the students wrinkle their own paper hearts.
This activity and discussion leads perfectly into a lesson on kindness.
More Valentine's Day Activities
If you enjoyed this list of Valentine's Day books for upper elementary students and are looking for more ELA Valentine's Day activities, we've got a blog post listing various reading and writing activities.