Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Show You Care

Carolyn Mannis


Students construct a four-line poem to be used on the inside of a Valentine's Day card. They use a digital camera to show themselves to their "buddies" (local nursing home patients) who will receive the cards on Valentine's Day.


The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling-correct use of punctuation, including commas in series, dates, and addresses, and beginning and ending quotation marks-correct paragraph indentation -correct usage of subject/verb agreement, verb and noun forms, and sentence structure and -correct formatting according to instruction.

The student uses electronic technology, including word-processing software and electronic encyclopedias, to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information.


-One copy per student of Checklist for Greeting Card (see Associated File)
-Computers and publishing software such as Print Master Gold Publishing Suite
-Digital camera
-Printer (with color cartridge)


1. Brainstorm initial lists of rhyming words and sample verses to "prime the pump" of student creativity.
2. Download and copy one Checklist for Greeting Card per student.
3. Set up computers; load and preview publishing software.
4. Check paper supply and color cartridge before printing cards.
5. Become familiar with camera, and jot down "hints" to use during student instruction.
6. Schedule delivery of valentine cards. If possible, plan a field trip for personal delivery.



1. Ask the students to complete the following poem: "Roses are red, violets are blue, candy is sweet, and..." (Answer: so are you!)

2. Tell the students that this common Valentine poem follows a rhyming pattern. They will use rhyming patterns today to begin writing unique Valentine poems for the computer cards they will create for their "buddies" (local nursing home patients.)

3. Teach simple rhyming patterns of poems by having the students generate lists of words that rhyme with "care," "love," and "feel." A brainstormed list for "care" might include: fair, share, dare, pair, wear, etc.

4. As a class, write a sentence that ends with one of these words (care, love, feel), and use it to model AA,BB and AB,AB rhyming patterns in several verses on the board. (For example, an AA,BB poem might look like this: "Cards and smiles, To cross the miles, Bring love to share, And show we care.")

5. Use the word lists and rhyming patterns to write a few poems on the board in which the entire class participates in word choice. Stress that the theme for each Valentine should be love and caring for other people.

6. Hand out a copy of the Checklist for Greeting Card to each student (see Assessment). Tell them to use it throughout the project to make sure they are completing their cards correctly.

7. Give students the remaining time to begin writing their unique poems. Explain that during the next two weeks (or whatever time frame you designate) they will rotate use of the computers during center time to publish their cards.


1. Train students how to use the publishing software. (Possibility: Two computers can serve four students at one time. Two students watch, while the others work with the software. Then they switch places. Eventually, -experts- emerge and help me train other students.)

2. While working with the software, review computer basics with the students such as fonts, sizes, centering, graphics (selection, placing, sizing), and using spellcheck to edit writing.

3. Train students how to use the digital camera. CAUTION: Digital cameras are very sensitive to motion. I have found that it is best for the teacher to initially use the camera and then provide -hints- for the students (i.e., It works best to move the clicker slowly until the orange light is seen. Then click for a clear picture.)


Using the above skills, students create a Valentine for their -buddies,- (patients of a local nursing home). The students' computer-generated Valentines will consist of a poem they compose, a photograph of themselves, and graphics they choose to support the theme or message of the card.


Note: This lesson only assesses using software to create and revise information.

Download the Checklist for Greeting Card (see Associated File) and use it to assess that students used the desktop publishing program to produce Valentine cards that have been edited for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. As students are working, make sure to offer feedback and guidance reminding students to use the checklist as the criteria. Note those who need a great deal of help to produce the card since they will need additional instruction in using the computer or creating the poem. This is a formative assessment.

NETS for Students 3.1 and 3.2: Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.
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