Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and although it may seem difficult to incorporate holiday celebrations into your secondary ELA class with all of the curriculum expectations to meet, here are five ways to include some Valentine’s themed activities into your lessons without missing a beat in your usual routine.
Need a fun Valentine’s inspired activity to create pairs for your lesson? You will need to print and cut as many hearts as needed for your class. Each heart is cut in half between the words “soul mate” and numbered the same. Students will mingle around the classroom and look for their “soul mate” by pairing up with the same numbered heart.
A variation on this idea could be to use grammatical pairings like subjects and predicates, or independent and subordinate clauses.
For this activity, students can choose a character from one of the texts studied in class and decide on another character they feel they would be compatible with. The other character can be chosen from any text (not just the ones from class). This is a great activity to help students make text-to-text connections and delve into the characterization of their chosen character. Students would complete a write up explaining their reasons for pairing these two characters together, and could present to the class to share their learning.
I love creating collaborative found poems in my classroom to help create classroom community and facilitate an activity that incorporates all of the ELA strands – reading, writing, media, and oral communication. For this activity you’ll need a piece of chart paper or a blank bulletin board. Ask students to choose their favourite line from a love song, print in a larger font and cut it out. Students will then pool all of the lines and decide how to piece them all together to create a found poem.
A fun way to incorporate some Valentine’s love into your existing lessons is to have your students create a concrete poem in the shape of a heart. A concrete poem, sometimes called a shape poem, requires students to write a poem in the shape of their topic. Students can write a poem from a literary character’s perspective about someone or something they love. These concrete poem hearts can be decorated like real Valentine’s cards and used to create a Valentine’s themed bulletin board display.
A creative writing option to help celebrate all things love in your class, is to have students write a “Missed Connections” Ad from a literary character’s perspective. In these types of personal advertisements, someone writes an ad after meeting someone else but not getting their contact information. In some cases, the person may not have even gotten the other’s name. The ad is written to reach out to this other person and see if they would like to meet again to explore a love connection.
Show students examples of this type of advertisement and then allow time for brainstorming and drafting of their ad write-up.
Happy Heart Day!