Unfortunately, because state standardized testing is rapidly approaching in February, Valentine’s Day projects often take a backseat for many children. Looking back on my days as an elementary student, these were some of my most memorable experiences. For educators, the key is finding ways to meaningfully incorporate Valentine’s themes into the curriculum. Below are a few examples of how this can be done, while keeping your learning goals for your children in the forefront. The sample activities are easily modifiable for your grade level.
Compare and Contrast Valentine’s Day Customs from Around the World
- Children can practice reformatting expository text using graphic organizers such as Venn-Diagrams by comparing and contrasting Valentine’s Day customs from around the world or practice the writing process by reporting on a self-selected country’s Valentine’s Day customs.
Love Poetry Analysis
- Analyze love poetry or Valentine’s Card greetings for imagery, figurative language, rhythm, or rhyme scheme. Have children write their own love poems or Valentine’s Day cards including specific types of imagery, figurative language, etc. For younger kids, identify and sort rhyming words or clap out the rhythm of love poetry or card greetings.
Valentine’s Day Expository Essay
- Children enhance their expository writing skills by drafting a how-to essay outlining the steps to make a Valentine’s Day recipe or craft of their choice.
Friendly Love Letters
- Read or listen to the book Love Letters by Arnold Adoff and analyze for main idea, tone, imagery and author strategies. Next, write a letter, similar to the letters in the book, that use description and figurative language to convey feeling. View a sample lesson plan here.
History of Chocolate Webquest
- Take your children on a Chocolate Webquest and assign one or more of the “Explorer” activities for enrichment.
Math / Science
Graphing with Candy Hearts
- Pass out a box of candy hearts to each child or group. Children can make estimates, sort, tally, and graph by color or phrase, make predictions about the data, create and interpret a class graph of the combined data, and finally eat their treats.
Ratios, Fractions, Decimals, and Percents with Candy Hearts
- Older children can use the data from the above graph to find ratios, write fractions, simplify fractions, convert fractions to equivalent decimals and percents, and create a pie graph of the results. For example, if there were 4 red hearts out of 16 total hearts, this would be equivalent to 4/16, simplified as ¼, converted to a decimal as .25, a percent as 25% and then displayed on a pie chart.
Broken Hearts Matching Game
- Cut out hearts and then cut the heart in half using a zigzag. Write a math problem on one half and its matching answer on another; or write a pair of equivalent fractions, one on each half. Ask children to find the match to mend their broken heart. As seen here this strategy can easily be adapted for other subject areas.
For many more Valentine’s Day lessons including activities for special areas, click here.
Click here for a free Valentine’s Day cards printable by Learning Today.
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com