By Teachers, For Teachers
Looking for a way to celebrate Valentine's Day in your classroom without giving up valuable learning time?
Try some original Valentine's-themed lesson ideas that get to the heart of your subject matter and ignite the imagination of your students. There are options that can adapted for different grade levels, as well as options for most basic core subjects.
Valentine’s Day Lessons Across the Curriculum
Create Valentines with a Curriculum Twist
While making valentines may be the most basic of Valentine’s Day activities, that doesn’t mean you can’t put a new twist on a classic.
Challenge your students to be creative, clever and integrate your curriculum into the activity. Choose themes or have students write valentines to/from characters in your readings, a historical figure, a mathematical concept or a scientific idea.
For example, a valentine from an electron to the nucleus:
My world revolves around you.
See, it can be simple but demonstrate an understanding of curriculum concepts.
Candy Heart Connections
Conversation heart candies can be used for all kinds of word and color activities.
If you’re teaching colors, have students sort hearts by color. If you’ve got early readers, have students match pictures related to the messages. You could have small bins with photos of kissing lips (Kiss Me), a phone (Call me), a puppy (Puppy Love), a bride and groom (Marry Me), an angel (Angel), a ladybug (Love Bug). Kids can take turns putting their candies in the proper bins.
There are really endless possibilities. Heart messages can jump start synonym or antonym brain storming, act as sentence starters. You could have a worksheet with columns for nouns, verbs, etc.
If you don’t want to use the actual candy hearts, you can start by having students make them. Older students can amp up the vocab by using SAT words to create their conversation hearts.
Reading & Writing Love Stories, Poems, Sonnets or Songs
Literacy instruction, literary analysis and creative writing all have an outlet for this romantic holiday.
Reading assignments are easy enough to fit the holiday theme. Just choose a text that relates to love. To get creative, you can even use lyrics to popular love songs as your materials to examine word choice, rhythm, rhyme scheme, parts of speech or any other literacy connection.
Here are some Valentine’s Day Text Resources to get you started:
For creative writing, challenge students to write their own story, poem or song about love. You can help by giving them story starters, brainstorming love-related rhymes as a class or playing love story popcorn as a group (where you start the story and each student adds two sentences).
Remember, Valentine’s Day can celebrate all forms of love, not just romantic love. Let students know that their love stories don’t have to be about romance, but about anyone or anything they love. If you’re choosing a Valentine’s Day text, books like The Giving Tree can show the importance of give and take in any loving relationship.
Try TeachHUB’s Valentine’s Day Video writing prompts with options for K-12 to spark thoughtful journal activities.
In these Gnomeo and Juliet video writing prompts, students will consider the meaning of colors, setting and story, creative wordplay with puns, and adapting stories.
How Love Plays a Role in History
Valentine’s Day can kick off an excellent research or critical thinking activity. No matter what unit you’re teaching, there is certainly a society that includes some form of marriage rituals.
Perhaps your students will reveal the role marriage played in the political of 19th century Europe or how minstrel love songs came into favor or how arranged marriages still exist in today’s society.
Need ideas? Check out this quick list of Romance Through the Ages.
With this brief history of Valentine's Day, your students will consider the origins and traditions of other holidays.
Download the Social Studies Holiday Traditions printable lesson.
Cupid & Love in Mythology
Greek and Roman mythology are ripe with stories of love and adventure. Valentine’s Day gives us occasion to review a myth as a class and explore how the role of mythology within society.
For younger students, you may want to tie the myth with this Story of Cupid Reading Comprehension Printable.
For older students, you could have them:
Biology of the Heart & Circulatory System
Align your lesson plans on the heart and how it circulates blood and nutrients throughout the body.
Beyond your basic lesson, you can:
Heart & Circulatory System Resources
The Scientific Method: Experiments in Love
Lead a classroom discussion that explores some scientific reasons that people fall in love. As students ask questions and pose potential answers (hypotheses), write them on the board. These will be your research questions for the next step of the experiment activity.
Then, break students into groups. Assign each group one of a research question.
Using the Scientific Method, students will describe how they could execute each step of the experiment to see if their hypothesis is correct.
The bulk of their description will deal with the experiment itself. For the experiment stage, they should identify the necessary supplies, method of monitoring and tracking data, independent and dependent variables, etc.
This critical thinking approach will make them think about experiments on a higher level than just executing the steps of a typical experiment assignment.
Other Valentine’s Day Science Activities
Budgeting for Your Date
You are in charge of planning your date for Valentine’s Day. You need to take a special someone for an evening out.
First, set your budget. $25 date, $50 date, $100 date and a $500 date
Then, identify the expenses required for the evening. Where will you go? How will you get there? What are some potential unintended costs? Will you bring a gift?
Once you’ve figured this all out, write each item in a list and specify the cost of each item.
(You can either let students do online research to find prices for restaurants/activities OR provide a selection with menus and brochures that provide pricing.)
What better time to cover the increments of 12 by calculating flowers by the dozen?
Depending on your current curriculum, adapt word problems that calculate cost per flower, calculate average pedal per flower or per boquet, etc. You can even use real ads to find the best Valentine's flower deal. Remind students to factor in tax (practicing percentage calculations) and delivery charge for multi-step word problems.
Younger students can just count, add, subject, multiply, divide the flowers, petals, etc.
The Business of Valentine’s Day
Have your students create a business plan for a Valentine’s Day product or service.
Step 1: Brainstorm their product or service. Answer the question:
a. How does this stand out from other Valentine’s Day pack?
b. Who are my potential customers?
Step 2: Budget for supplies, labor and/or other production costs.
a. Your produce can be as simple as pre-made valentines, but you need to consider the cost of the paper, scissors, markers or computer products needed to create the cards.
b. Allot part of your budget for advertising. Even if this just means posters around school, list the cost of those posts, tape, etc.
Step 3: Set pricing, sales goals and projected profits for your business
Step 4: Compile all of this information into a presentation for the class.
BONUS: Create a prototype, demonstration or drawing of your product to really SELL the idea to potential business investors.
What are your go-to classroom activities for Valentine's Day? Share in the comments section!