While Valentine’s Day has religious roots, these are not as commonly observed as they once were and the holiday has become a different celebration altogether. Now this is an occasion to share a romantic dinner, tell your family how much you love and appreciate them, send someone flowers, and eat chocolate. While more of a commercial holiday, students may be interested in learning about it if it is not commonly celebrated or is celebrated differently in their country.
Beginner Valentine's Activities
Make Valentine’s Day cards
While most of the Valentine’s lesson will be taken up with an arts and crafts type activity, younger students and beginners will enjoy this and you can give them some practice listening to directions such as fold, cut, and glue. Rather than have your class create the same valentine, let them choose the types of materials and patterns they want to use but be sure to show them some examples. English will be the focus of the last stage of the lesson when students have to write a message on their cards. Introduce some simple classic Valentine’s Day messages.
Valentine's Word Searches
Word searches can be helpful when introducing new vocabulary because they force students to focus on spelling while masquerading as a game. This is way more enjoyable than repeatedly writing words out or spelling them aloud.
Valentine's Day Flashcards
Make flashcards for newly learned Valentine’s Day vocabulary. This is another arts and crafts type activity. Have students color different images and then, with assistance, present their words to the class. You can hang these around the classroom for students to refer to and to display their artistic achievements.
Intermediate Valentine's Activities
Valentine's Day Listening
Do a listening activity using a romantic song. Where you are in your textbook may determine which grammar point you would like to focus on and thus influence your song selection. Students can listen to the song, fill in the blanks, answer some comprehension questions, and then discuss the song’s meaning.
Read Valentine's Day Poem
Have students list, in a poetical way, the things they hold dear. At this stage, writing a poem might be too challenging, but starting off with “I love” and then simply listing items should be within their ability level. Students can read their work aloud towards the end of class.
Valentine's Day Crossword
Prepare a crossword puzzle to focus on Valentine’s Day vocabulary. Students can also be given images to match with each word or perhaps you can use images instead of words as clues. Check the answers aloud as a class.
Intermediate & Advanced Valentine's Activities
Valentine's Day Around The World
Talk about how Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world. For example in the United States, it is more common for women to receive Valentine’s Day presents while in Japan, men receive gifts on Valentine’s Day while women receive presents on White Day, in March. You can lead into this discussion with a reading or simply by asking students what they know about the holiday and giving them some information to keep in mind.
Advanced Valentine's Activities
Write Valentine's Day Poems
Have your students compose their own poems. You can introduce this topic with one as simple as “Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.” Students can decide to write a Valentine’s Day themed poem or not. Depending on the ability of your students, you may want to introduce a few examples and have students follow the rhythm or meter of one of them.
Valentine's Day Discussion Activity
Prepare a related topic of discussion. You can choose a short romantic story like this one (The Origins of Saint Valentine’s Day) or talk about the ways people express love or affection towards the various people in their lives. Certain topics will be more appealing to the students in your class so make your selection accordingly.
Valentine's Day Activity for All Levels
Valentine's Day Costume Party + Food
If your school allows it, you might consider bringing in small chocolates or candy hearts for your students to enjoy. If you bring in candy hearts, there is even an English component to them so you can discuss the different messages. This may or may not be appropriate for all classes. You can also encourage students to wear red, white, and pink to get them in the holiday spirit.
Valentine’s Day is a good day to make your classes just a little bit more special. Despite being the shortest month of the year, February often seems to just drag on so brightening up your classroom for a day or week might be just the ticket to cheering everyone up.View our Valentine's activities section here.
Have you developed your own, specific and successful way of teaching the St. Valentine's Day lesson? How do you do it? We'd love to hear your ideas!