February is a short month, but it’s a punchy one! It is filled with special days to spark interest in learning, in the classroom, the special education room, or at home. It starts with the wily groundhog, coming out of its burrow on February 2 to predict how soon spring will come. Who, but the humble groundhog, could possibly outmaneuver environment Canada. Discover where this tradition comes from, who Wiarton Willie is with his special talents, and delve into the life of a groundhog.
February 12 brings us to Valentine’s Day, a very popular North American holiday. We hand out valentines and candy, eat chocolate, and have parties. What about researching into who St. Valentine was, and after finding out there are several different stories about St. Valentine, you could have students write their own version. Or how about mailing valentine letters and learning how to address an envelope at the same time?
Family day celebrates the values of family. Have your students do family history activities: discover their ethnic background, make a family tree, sketch their family and write humorous poetry about parents, grandparents or siblings. Share these poems in a booklet with your classmates and your family.
February is also Black History Month. Explore all the learning opportunities to make our students aware of issues of race and justice. Besides introducing them to black Americans such as Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr., explore our Canadian black history. How was Rev Josiah Henson involved with the Underground Railroad along with Harriet Tubman? Where is the Uncle Tom’s Cabin site? Learn about Honorable Jean Augustine, the first black woman in the House of Commons and cabinet. If you don’t have time in your curriculum to cover these ideas, turn them into enrichment projects for the avid learner, who can share their discoveries with the class. Students in special education also love discovering something new.