Monday, February 6, 2012

Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown - Teaching Ideas

When my kids were little they L*O*V*E*D Arthur, especially the PBS series. We even went to an Arthur day at the local book store to meet Arthur! My youngest one was terrified and hid behind me the whole time but Kelsey couldn't wait to go give him a hug! What great memories. This book is a great little story about having a secret admirer. Unfortunately for Arthur he is laughed at and teased because of this admirer. He is so upset he doesn't even want to go to school on Valentine's Day! Will Arthur ever find out who has been sending him special little messages. I hope you and your kids enjoy reading and talking about Arthur and his Valentine's Day.

Here is a bit more information you might find useful to go with this book.

Reading level: 3.0
Theme: holiday, friendships
Genre: holiday

Suggested Vocabulary: secret admirer, mushy valentine, smudge

Reading skills and strategies:
  • author's point of view - third person point of view
  • author's purpose - to entertain
  • beginning, middle, end - {beg}Arthur gets a valentine from a secret admirer and it is not even Valentine's Day yet. He wonders who it might be. {mid} Arthur makes a valentine for the girl he hopes is sending him the valentines. His friends find the valentines notes and they make fun of him. Arthur feels terrible. {end} Arthur gets one last note which takes him to the movie theater. When he gets there he sees Francine. He tells Francine he wants to give her a kiss but she has to close her eyes. She closes her eyes and when she opens them there are kisses on the seat for her.
  • cause and effect - What causes Arthur to make Sue Ellen a card? she is smiling at him at lunch so he thinks she is giving him the valentines. Why do Arthur's friends start to tease him? they found the valentines that his secret admirer had given him. Why does Arthur not want to go to school on Valentine's Day? he is embarrassed and doesn't want to be teased anymore. Why did Arthur want to be alone? everyone kept teasing him. Why did Arthur not want to be late to the movies? he wanted to give Francine a kiss.
  • characterization - describe Arthur
  • compare & contrast - compare yourself with Arthur
  • connections - text-to-self connections - what connections do you have to Arthur? Some connections might be getting or giving a secret valentine. Being teased by your friends. The feeling of wanting to be alone. Text-to-text connections - compare this book to Froggy's First Kiss by Jonathan London, Will You Be My Valentine by Steven Kroll.
  • drawing conclusions & inference- Why would Francine tease Arthur about the valentines he had when she was the one sending them to him?
  • predict - Who do you think is sending Arthur the valentine notes? What do you think the treat will be in his lunchbox? What do you think his friends will do if they see all those notes? Do you think Arthur will go to the movies? What do you think Arthur will do to Francine at the movie theater?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Arthur keeps getting this valentine notes and he doesn't know who it is and he keeps getting teased about them. {solution} He finally figures it out and goes to the movies to give Francine a kiss...candy kisses that is.
  • story elements - characters, setting, beginning, middle & end, genre.                       
  • strong thought - students might have a strong thought when Arthur's friends start to tease him.
  • summarize - {someone}Arthur {wanted} had a secret admirer {but} and he couldn't figure out who it was. {then} The kids found his notes and started teasing him {so} he got upset and didn't want to go to school. {at the end} He got one last valentine that said to meet at the movies. He figured out it was Francine and went to give her a kiss...candy kisses.
  • visualize - students can visualize what Arthur looked like when he was feeling sad and embarrassed.

As an added bonus I have created 2 activities for you and your kids. I hope they are something you find useful {just an FYI I drew the Arthur...I think he turned out pretty cute. Usually I have my daughter draw for me but she is too busy right now, go figure a senior and she is too busy?!?}

A true or false comprehension game

A compare & contrast worksheet {comparing yourself and Arthur}

You can download these at either my TpT store or Teacher's Notebook store.

Happy reading!!


  1. Very cute! My 4 year old just stated getting into Arthur:) Such a FUN age!

    1. 4 is a GREAT age! Mine are 15 and 17 now and love when I pull these books will remind them of something from when they were little. Great memories! Enjoy your girls!!


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