When many people think of Valentine's Day, they picture chocolate
hearts, roses, and gushy cards. However, there are other ways
that you can incorporate this romantic holiday into your classroom.
Here are some fun and creative ways to add learning to the love.
1. Get some hearty exercise.
Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body, supplying all
the other parts with the oxygen and nutrients that they need to
thrive. You can incorporate this into your Valentine's Day lesson
plans with cardiovascular activities, learning to take heart rates,
or discussing the effects of fatty foods or drugs on the heart.
2. Make a heart.
Valentines have been a long-standing tradition of Valentine's Day, so here
is a good chance to bring out the creative skills. Beyond the
classic cutting, pasting, and applying glitter, you can have students
work on their writing skills, penmanship, or spelling. Consider
having them make cards for members of the staff, such as janitors
or the food service workers.
3. Start a conversation.
Conversation hearts have been around since the civil war, and each year, new
sayings are added. Challenge your students to create their own
custom sayings that would fit on the average conversation heart
(five or less characters in one line, or two lines of less than
four characters). Or, have students pull out half a dozen candy
hearts and work them into a story line.
4. Graph it out.
Younger students will enjoy learning to count and graph with the assistance
of conversation hearts. Give each student a single serving box
and have them graph the contents (how many pink ones, how many
yellow ones, etc.) You can even compare as a class to see which
color was the most popular.
5. Heart healthy menus.
Since Valentine's Day is all about heart, how about the health of your heart?
Encourage students to come up with ways that they can eat better
to make their heart healthier (such as skipping fast food for
the month of February), come up with balanced meal plans, or even
cook some heart healthy recipes.
6. How the heart works.
Your study of Valentine's Day and the heart can also look into heart health
and diseases. Talk about the different chambers of the heart,
listen to each other's heartbeats with stethoscopes, or discuss
heart diagnostic equipment like EKGs.
7. Share heart quotes.
Love has been an often quoted subject throughout literature. Have students
match the quote to the original source, or look up their own quotes
that convey their feelings.
8. It is all in the blood.
A study of the heart can also take a look at the entire circulatory system.
Talk about the heart, lungs, and different blood vessels and their
jobs. Older students can discuss the different blood types and
how different cells in the blood have different jobs.
9. The heart has a rhythm.
Students are usually familiar with the rhythmic sounds that the heart makes
as it is beating. You can use this as an introduction to rhythm
in music classes, and have students clap out other rhythms in
10. The heart is in the mail.
For some students, the holidays may be the only chance they get
each year to see relatives that live out of state. This can be
a great way to introduce map reading skills, discuss different
climates, or learn to read airline schedules. Older classes can
use the internet to plan imaginary trips to far off countries
and discuss flight plans and what to pack for the weather.
Since not every person that you send a Valentine to lives in
the same home, this can be a good opportunity to discuss how the
mail system works. You can also look into the history of mail,
like the Pony Express, or discuss how stamps are made. Since the
post office often puts out holiday stamps, you can have students
design their own stamps for Valentine's Day.
Sharing the love and the science behind Valentine's Day is easy
to do with these activities.