It is the week of Valentine’s Day and my classes always get excited about this day. It doesn’t matter if they are in elementary school or high school, everyone wants to be loved! Our school has this policy that no flowers, candy, or gifts may be delivered to anybody in the school. This is supposed to cut down on the disruption in classes. Instead, flowers and candy are delivered to the main office and at the end of the day, the students are called by name to come there after school is over. With the number of names to read, the announcer usually has to disrupt class the last ten minutes of class in order to read all of them. Many of the students expect their names to be called and if it isn’t, there is another type of disruption. But I’m getting off my main reason for writing this post.
Valentine’s Day is going to be here and we can’t ignore it. It is like a big elephant in the room and the more you try to ignore it, the worse things will get. So instead of ignoring the big elephant, I decided to put him to work.
I have done this activity in every class for Valentine’s Day on every level that I’ve taught and it always is a big hit. I introduce the lesson by reading about the origin of Valentine’s Day. I also have many examples of valentines over the years and how they have changed. We also discuss some sayings that look nice on a valentine and what is not appropriate to say on them.
I show them a big bag of candy hearts and tell my students that they will be making their own valentines with the candy. I instruct them that they cannot eat the ones I give them but I will give them some at the end of class. I give out construction paper (I have red, pink, and white for them to choose from) and sample hearts in cardstock that they can trace on their paper. They can cut the hearts out or make their own designs however they want to. The requirements are to do at least one valentine (and it can be for a boy/girlfriend, parent, relative, or teacher) and they must use at least 5 of the candy hearts in sentences. They could even write a poem if they wanted to. Instead of writing certain words, they would glue the candy heart in place of the written words. I would usually have an sample valentine to show them and they couldn’t wait to get started. Each student is given 5 candy hearts to use and they usually read them and end up trading them with someone else. If they really don’t like the one they have, I let them trade it for another one. There is always one student who just has a mind block on what to write and usually the class comes to the rescue with suggestions. After they are done, we clean up the room in order to let the glue dry. Then they are asked to show the class their valentine. It is so much fun to see how creative they are. The students had fun and feel they have had a successful learning experience!