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Teacher Lesson Plans: Holiday Celebrations with Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day

By Donna Cosmato

Clifford and Emily Elizabeth have fun making valentines, but Clifford gets lost at the post office. Students love finding out how Emily Elizabeth finds her red puppy. As Clifford the Big Red dog learns about Valentine's Day the lesson includes teaching activities on sight words and reading skills.

Lesson Overview and Objectives

Try this Clifford the Big Red Dog learning lesson, and watch how much fun kids have while they learn. This plan is designed for Clifford's First Valentine's Day independent readers who read simple sentences and write answers. Teach it in under 45 minutes with minimal supplies or prep time. It meets these educational objectives:

  • Encourages emergent readers
  • Increases reader recall and retention
  • Exercises sequencing and critical thinking skills
  • Requires analyzing information for accuracy

Supply List:

  • Clifford’s First Valentine Day, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1997]
  • Flashcards for sight words: me, my, big, red, for, the, up, little, it, and, help, I, away, to, we, see, find, a, down, said, one
  • Teacher worksheets – copy and paste text and print copies

Teaching the Literacy Lesson

Let each student choose a sight word flash card until all the cards are distributed. Tell them to listen for the sight words while the story is read, and to hold up their flash card when they hear their word.

Clifford the Big Red Dog Books 

Show the book cover and ask for predictions about the story. Read the story and place an emphasis on the sight words; praise the student’s efforts when they respond correctly.

Lesson Activities – Reader Recall

Write the correct answer to each question below. Circle the sight words.

  1. Clifford is a little red puppy that belongs to whom?
  2. What happened to Clifford at the post office?
  3. How did Emily Elizabeth find Clifford?
  4. Who is Emily Elizabeth’s favorite valentine?

Teacher Answer Key: Emily Elizabeth, gets lost, hears him bark, Clifford

Lesson Activities - Story Sequencing

Put the sentences below in the correct order. Write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 to show how things happened.

_______Clifford gets lost at the post office.

_______ Clifford makes a mess with the white paste.

_______ Emily Elizabeth, Mom, and Clifford go to the post office.

_______ Clifford and Emily Elizabeth make valentines.

_______ Emily Elizabeth finds Clifford when he barks.

Teacher Answer Key: 4, 2, 3, 1, 5

Lesson Activities - Analyzing Information

Circle yes or no to show which sentences are correct.

  1. Emily Elizabeth tries to eat the white paste. Yes No
  2. Clifford cuts out hearts without using scissors. Yes No
  3. Emily Elizabeth’s favorite valentine is from her Grandma. Yes No
  4. Mom, Emily Elizabeth, and Clifford ride in the car to the post office. Yes No
  5. Emily Elizabeth finds Clifford. Yes No

Teacher Answer Key: no, yes, no, no, yes

Recommended Reading and Book List

In this Clifford the Big Red Dog learning lesson, children hear a story about Valentine’s Day. They review sight words, reading comprehension, and sequencing.

Try these other Clifford the Big Red Dog books to extend this lesson: Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit 

  • Clifford’s Christmas, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1984]
  • Clifford’s Halloween, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1986]
  • Clifford’s Thanksgiving Visit, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1993]
  • Clifford’s First Halloween, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1995]

Image Credit

Image, Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain