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Teaching in February: What Elementary Teachers Need to Know in 2023

The secret to teaching in February and keeping students engaged and learning is integrating holidays, special days, and February theme ideas into your lesson plan materials. There are so many holidays and special days in February to celebrate with your elementary students. Some of the more popular ones are Black History Month, Random Acts of Kindness Week, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. You’ll find the full list of February events, holidays, and special days teachers can celebrate and use as teaching topics, themes, and lesson plan ideas below!

February Holidays and Special Days

As you starting brainstorming February teaching and lesson plan ideas, add these February holidays and special days to your teacher planner.

Month-Long February Events

Below are month-long February events you can use as topics, themes, and lesson plan ideas for teaching in February.

Black History Month Activities

Black History Month is celebrated every year during the month of February in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. This month recognizes many important historic people and honors the many black movements where they fought for rights, freedom, and respect throughout history. This is the perfect time to explore and learn about African American history and the many incredible men and women who fought for a change and made a big impact in the world.

Ron's Big MissionBefore She was Harriet book companionThe Story of Ruby Bridges
Henry's Freedom BoxLet the Children March book companionMartin's Big Words

National Children’s Dental Health Month Activities

National Children’s Dental Health Month is celebrated during the month of February every year and helps to raise awareness and spread the importance of dental health for children. A great way to celebrate children’s dental health month is to watch some videos about the importance and steps towards a healthy mouth and include some class read alouds as well! Another great way to promote the importance of children’s dental health is to bring colorful toothbrushes to school and let your students each pick one out. This will make them feel excited to use their new special toothbrush to brush their teeth!

How to Catch the Tooth FairyBear's Loose ToothDoctor De Doto book companionteeth reading activities

Extended February Events

Below are extended February events you can use as topics, themes, and lesson plan ideas for teaching in February.

Winter Olympics Activities

The Winter Olympics is an extended event that occurs during different dates in February every year! The Winter Olympics is an international competition where groups and individuals compete in different winter sports. Some examples of sports are skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, hockey, and figure skating representing their country. A great way to celebrate the Winter Olympics in your classroom is to learn about the event’s history, as well as the current athletes competing. You could also watch some of the competitions as a class!

Tacky and the Winter Games book companion

Random Acts of Kindness Week Activities

Random Acts of Kindness Week is normally celebrated on the week of February 17th every year. This week celebrates kindness and encourages people to spread a little more positivity and kindness in the world. A great way to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week in your classroom is through videos, read alouds and activities! It’s important to discuss kindness all year long, but consider setting aside this week in February to focus on it too. You can discuss how important random acts of kindness are and how they can positively impact others!

Kindness SEL UnitThe Jelly Donut DifferenceThe Seed of Compassion
The World Needs More Purple PeopleOrdinary Mary's Extraordinary DeedBe Kind

February Holidays

Below are February holidays you can use as topics, themes, and lesson plan ideas for teaching in February.

Chinese New Year Activities

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is celebrated every year in China on February 1st! This is a celebration of the start of the new year on the Chinese calendar and the start of a new moon which symbolizes the new year! The Chinese New Year is celebrated with paper lanterns, food, special clothes and happiness! A great way to celebrate the Chinese New Year in your classroom is by watching videos, and making red paper lanterns as a craft to decorate your classroom and learn about the special Chinese New Year tradition and symbol!

Ruby's Chinese New Year book companionRuby's Wish book companionThe Empty PotChopsticks
Eyes that Kiss in the CornersGoldy Luck and the Three Pandas book companionChinese New Year reading comprehension activitiesChinese New Year

Groundhog Day Activities

Groundhog Day is celebrated in the United States and Canada on February 2nd. It is a North American tradition that is often treated like a holiday. This specific day in February is dedicated to watching a groundhog and observing if it sees its shadow! This groundhog is used to predict the weather. If the groundhog sees its shadow, that means 6 more weeks of winter. If the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, that means winter is over. This is a fun day to celebrate with your elementary students through fun activities, read alouds, and videos!

Groundhog Weather School book companionGroundhog Gets a Say book companionGroundhug DayGroundhog's Day offGroundhog Day activities

Valentine’s Day Activities

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14th and is the holiday of love. People celebrate this holiday by expressing their love and appreciation for their loved ones. They buy flowers, chocolate and cards as gifts of love. This is the perfect time to have a class party exchanging handmade and store-bought valentines in the classroom!

Project based learning task for Valentine's DayValentine's Day graphic organizer activitiesValentine's Day Jitters book companion
Milk and JuiceLove Monster book companion resourceThe Day it Rained Hearts book companion
Worm Loves WormThe Love Letter book companionBird Hugs
Love Monster and The Last Chocolate book companion resourceSomebody Loves You Mr. Hatch book companionRoses are Pink Your Feet Really Stink book companion

President’s Day Activities

President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February every year. On this day, we celebrate and honor all of the men who served as United States presidents. This is a perfect day to explore the life of American presidents, specifically George Washington and appreciate all the incredible things they have achieved as leaders and historical figures.

Presidents Day writing activities packetpresidents day reading graphic organizersIf I Were President
If I Ran for PresidentDuck for PresidentGrace for President

Authors’ Birthdays in February

Below are authors who have birthdays in February. You can use this list to get ideas for your February lesson plans.

Judith Viorst’s Birthday (2/2) Activities

Judith Viorst is an American writer of children’s literature! Judith Viorst was born on February 2, 1931. She has written some humorous children’s books like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.

Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last SundayAlexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Matt De La Peña’s Birthday (2/9) Activities

Matt De La Peña is an American author who writes children’s literature. Matt De La Peña was born on February 9th and has written multiple books like Milo Imagines the World, Last Stop on Market Street, and Carmela Full of Wishes.

Milo Imagines the WorldLast Stop on Market Street book companionCarmela Full of Wishes

Mark Teague’s Birthday (2/10) Activities

Mark Teague is an American author and illustrator for children’s books! Mark Teague was born on February 10, 1963. He has written some iconic books such as Dear Mrs. Larue: Letters from Obedience School and Pigsty.

Dear Mrs. LaruePigsty

Mo Willems’s Birthday (2/11) Activities

Mo Willems is an American author and illustrator who creates children’s books. He is also a voice actor for animated television series! Mo Willems was born on February 11, 1968. He has written many classic children’s books such as Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!, Knuffle Bunny, We are in a Book!, and The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog!.

Knuffle Bunny

Jane Yolen’s Birthday (2/11) Activities

Jane Yolen is an American author and writer known for her children’s literature! Jane Yolen was born on February 11, 1939. She has written many incredible children’s books such as Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?, and How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?.

Owl Moon

David Small’s Birthday (2/12) Activities

David Small is an American author and illustrator known for his children’s books! David Small was born on February 12, 1945. He has written many incredible children’s books such as Stitches: A Memoir, The Gardener, Home After Dark, and Imogene’s Antlers.

Imogene's Antlers

Peter Brown’s Birthday (2/24) Activities

Peter Brown is an American author and illustrator known for his children’s books! Peter Brown was born on February 24, 1979. He has written many incredible children’s books such as The Wild Robot, My Teacher is a Monster!, The Curious Garden, and Creepy Carrots!.

The Curious GardenCreepy Carrots book companion

Mike Curato’s Birthday (2/28) Activities

Mike Curato is an American author and illustrator known for his children’s books! Mike Curato was born on February 28th. He has written many incredible children’s books such as Flamer, Little Elliot, Big City, Worm Loves Worm and The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts.

Worm Loves Worm

February Special Days

Below are special days in February that you can use as topics, themes, and lesson plans ideas for teaching in February.

Feed the Birds Day (2/3) Activities  

Feed the Birds Day is a national day dedicated to feeding birds! Birds are cute, fluffy and tiny creatures that fly high and low in the sky and wander around in nature! This is a great day to promote the health and survival of birds by helping feed them when the cold month of February decreases their food source in the wild! A great class craft to celebrate Feed the Birds Day is to create handmade bird feeders or paint wooden bird houses as a class!

Bird HugsNerdy Birdy

National Wear Red Day (1st Friday in February) Activities

We celebrate National Wear Red Day on the first Friday in February. It is a day dedicated to wearing red to show and spread awareness about heart disease. Initiated by the American Heart Association, people are encouraged to wear red clothing and accessories to bring attention to one of the leading causes of death in America, heart disease. By wearing red, people who aren’t aware will become educated on why everyones wearing red and will stop and think about the importance of heart health. A great way to celebrate National Wear Red Day is to encourage your students to wear red to school and explore the importance of the day together as a class!

Rosa Parks Day (2/4) Activities

Rosa Parks Day is celebrated on February 4th. It is a day dedicated to the incredible civil rights leader known as Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1st for standing her ground and refusing to give up her seat on a bus for someone who was white. This action created a scene and led to a big civil rights movement making a big difference promoting equality regarding race. Rosa Parks Day is celebrated on February 4th, which is Rosa parks birthday. A great way to celebrate in your classroom is by celebrating her birthday with some yummy treats and exploring her incredible and brave actions in American history!

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (1st Saturday in February) Activities

We celebrate Ice Cream for Breakfast Day on the first Saturday in February. It is a day where it is acceptable and encouraged to eat ice cream in the morning for breakfast! Many people love the cold and creamy dessert, but they usually enjoy it after lunch or dinner! This fun and informal holiday would be so memorable and hilarious to celebrate in the classroom by having an ice cream party… first thing in the morning for breakfast!

Spoon

Super Bowl Sunday (2nd Sunday in February) Activities

Super Bowl Sunday is celebrated on the second Sunday in February every year. On this day, many people watch football on TV while eating pizza, wings, nachos and other yummy finger foods! Super Bowl Sunday is a popular day where the two qualified NFL teams compete in the final game of the season and play against each other to determine the Super Bowl champion! Many students love watching this game on TV so taking a few minutes to explore and bring attention to the exciting day will mean a lot to them!

Random Acts of Kindness Day (2/17) Activities

We celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th. It is a day dedicated to kindness! This day was created to spread positivity in the world and remind people how much a compliment or kind action means to people and will go a long way! This is the perfect day to encourage your students to perform random acts of kindness throughout the day! 

Kindness SEL UnitThe Jelly Donut DifferenceThe Seed of Compassion
The World Needs More Purple PeopleOrdinary Mary's Extraordinary DeedBe Kind

National Umbrella Day (2/10) Activities

We celebrate National Umbrella Day on February 10th. It is a day to acknowledge and honor the hand held, rain covering, sun protecting, and fashionable device known as the umbrella! The umbrella is one of the world’s most useful inventions and deserves a day of recognition and celebration! This is the perfect day to explore the history of the incredibly helpful invention and celebrate national umbrella day by bringing your class outside to exemplify the tool when it’s raining or maybe even just sunny!

The Big Umbrella

National Inventors’ Day (2/11) Activities

We celebrate National Inventors’ Day on February 11th. On this day, we recognize the world’s inventors and their incredible inventions! This day helps bring attention to all inventors including past, present, and encourages young and new inventors to start thinking about helpful ideas that could become the next big invention! Today is the perfect day to explore the history of some of the world’s greatest inventors and have your students each create their own invention as a writing prompt to celebrate Nationals Inventors Day!

Ada Twist, ScientistThe Most Magnificent ThingIggy Peck ArchitectRosie Revere, Engineer

International Day of Women and Girls in Science (2/11) Activities

We celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th. It brings attention to gender norms and stereotypes regarding school subjects and promotes a change! Science has been stigmatized to be a subject for boys and men which has stopped many young girls from pursuing a career in related fields even if they may have been very talented and passionate when it came to that subject! International Day of Women and Girls in Science promotes and encourages girls and women to participate and become a part of the science community so both women and men can play a role in experiments, discoveries and research! This is the perfect day to explore the history of important women scientists and state to your class that they can become anything they want when they grow up if they put their mind to it!

STEM journal

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (2/12) Activities

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday is February 12, 1809 and he was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. February 12th is the day when we celebrate America’s 16th president and acknowledge all that he’s done for the United States. This is the perfect day to explore and learn about the history of Abraham Lincoln in your classroom using videos, read alouds and activities!

presidents day reading graphic organizersPresidents Day writing activities packet

Susan B Anthony’s Birthday (2/15) Activities

Susan B Anthony’s Birthday is February 15, 1820 and was born in Adams Massachusetts. February 15th every year has become a date where we celebrate her actions and commitment in the women’s suffrage movement! Susan B Anthony worked hard promoting women’s rights including equal pay for equal work. She did this by giving speeches and speaking on behalf of women everywhere! This day explores the history of this incredible woman and all the amazing things she’s done to make a difference for women’s rights.

World Day of Social Justice (2/20) Activities

World Day of Social Justice is celebrated on February 20th. This day promotes social justice and making a change in society! This day brings attention to many social issues including poverty, gender inequality, unemployment, religious, race and gender discrimination and many other social problems to help eliminate them and make society more inclusive and positive. This is a great day to take a moment in your classroom to touch on topics concerning social justice and teach your students how to be kind, caring, inclusive and accepting human beings, especially in the classroom!

Kindness SEL UnitCompassion SEL UnitEmpathy SEL Unit

Be Humble Day (2/22) Activities

Be Humble Day is celebrated on February 22nd. The purpose of this day is to encourage people to be humble. Being humble means to be an individual who does amazing things, but does not ask for a thank you or a prize. They focus on the care of others rather than themselves. Today is a great day to teach your students how to be humble through impactful videos and fun read alouds to encourage them to be humble the next time they do something or perform an act of kindness!

National Polar Bear Day (2/27) Activities

National Polar Bear Day is celebrated on February 27th. This day celebrates and brings awareness to the adorable white snow bears! Polar bears are incredible animals who are largely affected by climate change in which we need to help protect and save our adorable polar bears by reducing our carbon footprint! Today is the perfect day to learn about polar bears by watching videos, and reading books about the food they eat, their environment, and their life!

The Three Snow Bears

National Gingerbread Cookie Day is celebrated on February 27th. It is a day dedicated to celebrating and bringing awareness to the adorable white snow bears! Polar bears are incredible animals that are largely affected by climate change. We can protect these animals by reducing our carbon footprint! Today is the perfect day to learn about polar bears by watching videos, and reading books about the food they eat, their environment, and their life! 

The Gingerbread Cowboy book companion coverGingerbread BabyThe Gingerbread Pirates book companion coverThe Gingerbread Girlgingerbread-themed reading comprehension activities

We hope you found this post with information and resources for teaching in February helpful! There’s a bunch of february lesson plan ideas that you can pull from it. If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in these other posts related to lesson plan and teaching ideas for February:

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Grab this freebie and engage your students in a fun seasonal activity. It’s a great way to practice opinion writing.