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Valentine’s Day Gift Bag Idea and Reading Activity

The other day I was thinking about ALL the Valentine’s Day things when suddenly, I had a great idea! I thought, “What if teachers were able to have students craft their own Valentine’s bags during class without losing instruction time?” Turns out…they can! By combining the craft with a reading lesson, students can have fun and meet standards! And just like that, the Valentine’s Day Story Retell Sack was born.

Typically, we ask parents to bring in boxes or create them at home to avoid “wasting” precious instruction time. But with these sacks, you can kill two birds with one stone. You will help alleviate a little bit of stress from yourself AND parents who may not have the resources at home. Not to mention this is a SUPER inexpensive option. I grabbed a pack of 25 paper gift bags for under $9 at Amazon {Affiliate Link}. You could probably find them even lower at your local retailer!

Today, I want to share how you could use this bag in your classroom for Valentine’s Day! And the great thing about it is, you can use it with any text. I’ll be sharing a few book ideas with you as well. But first, here’s a look at the Valentine’s Day gift sack…

Valentine’s Day Story Retell Gift Bag

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So cute, right?! We had such a fun time creating these! We built our little friends and glued them to our Valentine’s Day bags. But first, we added all of the juicy details of the story. For variety, I included four templates for retelling the story based on fiction or nonfiction texts.

Fiction Organizers for Valentine’s Day Bags

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There are two options for the story retell portion for fiction texts. Students can use the SWBST model to summarize any story or text by identifying these five elements: Somebody, Wanted, But, So, and Then. Check out the image above to get an idea of what this looks like! For the second option, students can use the graphic organizer for BME to identify the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Students can glue the organizer to the back of the bag and on our heart friend’s hands and feet, students will write down character traits from the story. You can see this in detail in the image below!

Nonfiction Organizers for Valentine’s Day Bags

Inside you will also find graphic organizers for nonfiction texts. Depending on the skills you’re looking to highlight, there is a template for students to identify the main idea and supporting details. Use the other template to highlight facts from any nonfiction text. These Valentine’s Day gift bags are constructed in the same way as the fiction resources but, on the heart-shaped hands and feet of their friends, students can write facts about the nonfiction reading.

My favorite thing about this resource is pairing it with a cute Valentine’s Day book! A few of my favorite picture books to pair with this Valentine’s craft are:

If you’re looking for even more Valentine’s Day books, check out a list of my favorites in THIS post. Students will already be so engaged when reading about love, but with the addition of the craft for their Valentine’s gift bags, they won’t even realize they’re learning a critical skill for reading comprehension! That’s definitely a win-win! 

2nd to last

{Amazon affiliate links have been added to this post.}

Don’t want to forget this Valentine’s Day Bag idea? Pin the image below!

Make a valentines Bag

Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


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