Share Crafty “Secrets” for Valentine’s Day!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for Teachers!

Got a secret to share? Maybe love bugs, like you see in my blog pic

Attention Bugs become "love bugs" in the month of Valentine's Day.

Attention Bugs (See 10/19/12 post) become “love bugs” in the month of Valentine’s Day.

here, have you smitten, but you’re not sure about sharing the focus of your attention.

Go ahead…kids will get a kick out of your “secret” when you announce what it’s about…you love these bugs because THEY LOVE ATTENTION.

You can elaborate on your affection for attention by telling the class this…it’s NO SECRET that students study better and learn more when they stay focused and on task in class.

Love bugs are perfect to share (along with secrets) especially during the month of Valentine’s Day. Read on to find catchy Valentine’s (and all-season) writing and craft activities to try with your class.

For the love of teaching, what’s more attention-getting than announcing this, “I have a secret to share with you.”

Secret Wishes – Reveal one of your own; then invite volunteers to share their secret wishes. Encourage fact-based or fantasy-based “secrets,” depending on the goals of activities you plan.

Let’s say for example, that you hope to promote more interest in reading, beginning with fiction (we know that kids love fantastic stories).

Invite a "Harry Potter" look-alike to class to reveal your secret wish for magical powers!

Invite a “Harry Potter” look-alike to class to reveal your secret wish for magical powers!

Share a fantasy-based secret wish…you’d love to have the magical powers of a literary character like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.

If you plan this activity ahead you can even invite a colleague or available parent to dress up as “Harry Potter”, like the classroom guest in my blog pic here.

Don’t forget the key attentionology trick…

After you share a story-related secret of your own, invite kids to tell theirs…what book characters do they wish they could be?

Pass Me the Passport Please! – Got a secret faraway place you’d like to visit? I’d like to boat ride along a river in

The "River of Painted Birds" flows north to south in South America.

The “River of Painted Birds” flows north to south in South America.

Uruguay, in the southeastern part of South America (shown on the world map here) whose name, Uruguay, means “river of the painted birds” in Guarani.

I’ve learned that Guarani is an old, indigenous language, spoken along with the (now primary) languages of Spanish and Portuguese, in several South American countries.

Beautiful! River of the Painted Birds…I’ll be encouraging students in my writing classes to use this name as a title for a poem or story of their own, complete with colorful illustrations.

Ready the River Reports – If your curriculum requires a focus on non-fiction reading and writing, invite students in upper elementary grades to name a river they’d like to travel to see; research its location; discover the plants that grow there and animals (like “painted” birds) that live there; then write reports about the river.

Design, Write and Share Secret Poems – Throughout history and across the globe, many secret thoughts and feelings have been revealed through poems.

Try this attentionology trick and invite your class to follow your lead. Kids LOVE this activity. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Check out

Kids LOVE to fold paper to make a hidden strip for writing a SECRET POEM!

Kids LOVE to fold paper to make a hidden strip for writing a SECRET POEM!

my blog pic here, that shows a student’s secret poem with heart art.

Follow these steps to create Secret Poems:

1) Hold up a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 inch white copy paper.

2) Fold the right vertical side of the paper to the left to make a 2-inch wide inside “poem strip.” The  paper will now measure 6 1/2 inches wide.

3) Draw (and color if you like) hearts all over the folded paper, front and back. (Do not draw on the white section that remains when you re-open the paper to a full 8 1/2 inches wide.) Set the heart-covered paper aside.

4) On a separate sheet of notebook paper write a Valentine’s Day-themed poem in narrow lines that go all the way down the page.  This long, narrow format will fit in the white paper “poem strip” space of the heart-covered paper.

5) After you draft your poem, handwritten or or computer-typed, check grammar and spelling; then clearly rewrite or print out the poem (in a space no wider than 2 inches, no longer than 8 1/2 inches) on a new sheet of white paper.

6) Cut out the finished poem in a long narrow strip.

7) Glue the “poem strip” to the inside blank section of the white paper.  The right edge of “poem strip” should align with the right edge of the paper so that when you fold the paper again, the poem is hidden; it becomes a “secret.”

8) Hold up the folded Secret Poem paper, show the front and back to the class, and announce that you have a secret to share. Open the page and reveal the poem. Fun!!!

I’ve designed and written a Secret Poem titled, After the Rain. Both sides

When the "poem strip" at right is folded to the left, the poem becomes a secret!

When the “poem strip” at right is folded to the left, the poem becomes a secret! Feel free to

When the “poem strip” at right is folded to the left, the poem becomes a secret! Feel free to download the poem.

of the poem page, including the side with the “poem strip” are shown in my blog pics here and below.

I’ve also printed the long, narrow lines below. Note that some lines have only a single word or letter (like the word f-a-l-l-s). That’s part of the magic of poetry writing.***

When I present this poem to students, I first say that After the Rain is a poem that asks a single question. Listen,” I ask for attention with a single command; then I begin reading aloud.

You’re welcome to print and share this poem with your class. To save it, just right-click on the image and c

I hope you enjoy it. *** To save post space, I’ve printed the word f-a-l-l-s all on one line here.


the rain




angry sky,

how can










a big smile,

smell sweet

as a child


bath time,


tiny puddles



remind me

of tasty

melted ice

in summer,

smell like



quiet me


their silence?

Leaves, ready to color, cover the back of a secret poem page.

Leaves with raindrop clusters, ready to color, cover the back of a secret poem page.

Leaves with raindrop clusters, ready to color, cover the back of a secret poem page. Download

We need to be smart about the secrets we share, of course, but when we select ones that reveal learning-based information, we can count on catching and keeping kids’ attention for a good cause.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You