Like all popular public events and holidays, Valentine’s Day provides a great opportunity to diversify your classroom teaching – helping to provide color and variety to your syllabus. It can also be a great device to encourage engagement and group-work amongst your class, all in the spirit of love of course!
Below I’ve picked out some of my favorite Valentine’s Day based teaching ideas – if you have any of your own, please join the discussion and share them in the comments at the bottom.
‘St. Valentine’s Day’
Spell out the phrase ‘St. Valentine’s Day’ on the blackboard or whiteboard, and give the class five minutes to find as many words within the phrase as possible. For added engagement, split the class into groups so that they can work together in spotting the words.
As an extra activity, ask the groups to then write a story based on Valentine’s Day – using as many of the words they found as possible.
A quick and simple activity is a Valentine’s Day themed wordsearch, containing the following words (and any others you can think of!):
Valentine’s Day is ideal for introducing an Arts & Crafts element into the classroom – and making cards is not only a simple activity to organize, it can also be a great way to get the class involved in Valentine’s Day, either by making cards for their best friend or for their family.
Other Arts & Crafts ideas for Valentine’s Day could include card holders, gift bags, gift wrapping paper and bookmarks.
History of St. Valentine and Valentine’s Day
Learning about the history of St Valentine, and why we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, is useful to provide the class with a better understanding of the day. Perhaps the most effective way to teach this is by using a reading observation worksheet, outlying the brief history of St. Valentine for the class to read, and then provide questions based on what they have read.
Again, this activity could be undertaken in groups to encourage co-operation and engagement – with Valentine’s Day-themed prizes given out to the winning group.
Asking students to write Valentine’s-based poems, either to each other, a member of their family or an imaginary ‘love’ is a great opportunity to help develop their writing skills – calling on their use of adjectives and verbs.
Decoration of their poems, with cut-out hearts and illustrations, can be another great Arts & Crafts opportunity.
There are many instances of St Valentine used in literature – including Hamlet, and countless famous love poems that can be used as inspiration for the students before writing their own poems. These can also be used as part of a literary criticism activity, working with the students to understand the meaning of the poem and the language used to convey ideas of love.
The above are just some ideas of how Valentine’s Day can be used to provide unique and engaging educational activities. If you have any more ideas, please share them in the comments below.
Luke Glassford is an education and business writer writing on behalf of Boards Direct – an online seller of whiteboards and other office and educational supplies.