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February Reading Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms

February is the beginning of the end of the cold, dark months of winter. It is also when the “busy days” of the spring semester really start to begin. So while February is like a light at the end of the tunnel, there’s a lot to do to make it to the end of this short month.  Engage your students with the fun of February and these February reading activities designed for the upper elementary classroom.

february reading activities for the upper elementary classroom

February Reading Comprehension Activities

nonfiction February themed reading passages with reading comprehension questionsThese February themed non-fiction passages hit on all of the month’s holidays while engaging your students in some important skills.  Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, President’s Day, and the less known International Polar Bear Day will all be touched on in these fun reads.

Each of these high interest passages includes reading comprehension questions to work on a variety of important comprehension skills.  Through these reading passages and related questions, students will work on vocabulary, reading for details, summarization skills, descriptive short answer responses, supporting answers with text evidence, and much more! The passages are great for close-reads, independent practice, centers, or even whole class instruction.

Non-fiction isn’t the only thing on the February reading menu. Poetry is included as well! This month’s Poetry Corner focuses on Valentine’s Day. It is a great idea to sprinkle poetry throughout the year whenever you can. Poetry is usually one of the more difficult skills to teach and understand, so combining it with a fun holiday theme is a win win!

february poetry activity

February Reading Centers

February reading center and langauge arts games and activitiesThese February activities will help your students focus on more reading and language arts skills.  These games and activities are great for reading centers or independent practice.  But, they are also great for engaging students in small group instruction.  This month’s center activities include a focus on:

  • Genre Identification
  • Revising and Editing
  • Text Structure Identification
  • Similes and Metaphors

These February activities can be used in so many different ways.  Whether you need a whole class activity or a center, you can find something that will help you out. Using activities such as these in intervention groups is a favorite because the students become so engaged they usually don’t have time to get frustrated on a skill they may otherwise be struggling with.

1. Genre Matching Game

Determining the genre of a text can help a student to identify the author’s purpose. Understanding different types of genres can help a student when writing on their own as well.

Genre identification activityThrough this Valentine matching activity, students will work on identifying the following genres:

  1. Biography
  2. Non-fiction
  3. Fairy Tales
  4. Mystery
  5. Drama
  6. Science Fiction

Your students will be genre pros in no time with this February themed matching game.  This matching activity is perfect for independent practice, but also wonderful to play in small group or with partners. You could spice it up for Valentine’s Day by using candy hearts for the “matching”. 

With the increased amount of indoor recess you could also turn this into a whole class movement activity called 4 Corners.  Make each of the 4 corners of the classroom represent a different genre.  Then read the book excerpt and have the students move to the corner that matches the genre they think it represented.  A chance to move around while learning is good for everyone and your students will love it.  And . . . you can adjust the 4 Corners game to review almost anything!  However you choose to implement this activity in the classroom, fun is sure to be had by all!

2. Revising and Editing

February Revising and Editing PracticeAn important part of writing instruction is revising and editing.  This is the place where students take all those individual writing and grammar skills and put them all together.  Students get an opportunity to reflect on a writing and edit it to make it better.

In this activity, students will read through Mandy’s paragraph of many mistakes.  Students are guided to use the provided editing marks and proofread the paragraph.  After finding and correcting the mistakes,  they will rewrite the paragraph correctly on the lines provided. 

Your students will love working with a partner, or on their own to revise and edit this sweet passage.

3. Text Structure

Just like genre helps students identify the purpose of a text, being able to identify the text structure is also very valuable. In this cut and past activity, your student’s will love reading these short paragraphs with a Valentine’s Day theme. After reading, they will cut each paragraph and glue it onto the appropriate text structure category. Students will work on identifying the following text structures:identifying text structure February reading activity

  • Cause and effect
  • Chronology
  • Problem and Solution
  • Compare and Contrast

Students can complete this work independently, or they can work together to match the paragraphs with the correct category. The activity will work great like a matching style game or you can even use a timer to see who can match all the pairs the quickest.

This is also a great activity to complete whole group using a pocket chart.  After students have correctly matched each example, give them a 3×5 index card and have them write a 2-3 sentence text that matches one of the text structures.  Have them write the text structure on the back.  This is a great way to see if students are able to apply what they have been learning.  You can then add this to a pocket chart center and add the cards written by the class for an added challenge.

4. February Writing Fun

February themed writing activityYour class will be so excited to complete this ‘How to’ writing assignment about their favorite  sweet treat. The writing prompt, prewriting organizer, and publishing page are all included.

A great extension to this activity would be for students to make the treat they wrote about and share it with the class. Sounds like a Valentine’s Day party with an academic connection.

If homemade treats aren’t allowed, you could compile the students’ writing to create a class recipe book.  This could be given as a Valentine’s Day gift for the parents or you could save it to share as a Mother’s Day gift in May. 

Fill Your February Lesson Plans

Your students will love engaging in all of these fun February reading activities. There is something for everyone. The best part for you is that you can fill your February reading and language arts lesson plans and know your students will be working on some important skills!  Once you get planned, spend a little time to indulge in a sweet treat, or two, of your own.

You can find all of these February Reading Activities in this one resource pack.

February reading activities and language arts centers

Looking for More February Fun?

Check out these other February activities for more fun and learning activities!

Save these February Reading Activities

If you’re not quite ready for these February reading and writing activities, then pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back when you are.

February reading activities for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students and language arts skills

Amy Hughes

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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