Valentine’s Day activities for school
So why not use this fun and culturally determining time to shake up your classroom and encourage students to discover the true meaning of love? Who knows, new romances may even have sprung up by the time the class is over. This month, we’re offering three + one Valentine’s Day activities for school for a truly enjoyable and meaningful experience for your class.
This month, we’re offering three fun activities in the spirit of Valentine’s Day for a truly enjoyable and meaningful experience for your class.
1. Find Your Match
Level: pre-intermediate/intermediate (A2/B1)
Focus: speaking skills, formulating questions and answers, critical thinking
Materials: character cards – a FREE PDF by BOOKR
In this game, 14 characters are looking for the love of their lives. Students become one of these characters and mingle to get to know the others and find their perfect match. Once everyone in the group has found their perfect match, each student introduces their new partner to the group. However, other people might know the chosen one better than the new partner does, so students need to pay close attention to what the rest of the group says. If you have a bigger class, divide them into two groups of 10 students and work with them separately.
2. My Loved Ones
(suitable for learning at home)
Level: beginner/elementary (A1)
Focus: family & friends, speaking, vocabulary building
Materials: Family and Friends flashcards
Find it on Level 2 in BOOKR Class app.
Check it out with all our other flashcard sets on Level 2 in our portfolio.
In pairs, students spend ca. 10 minutes working with the app and trying to formulate basic sentences/questions with the given word pairs (mother/mummy, father/daddy, sister/brother, baby/best friend, family/together, talk/help, hug/family photo, I love you/I miss you, nice/messy, friendly/funny, lazy/beautiful). They can talk about their likes and dislikes, describe people or say general statements about themselves:
I live with my mother, father and brother. (or) What’s your mother’s/father’s/brother’s name? (or) I love my mother/father/brother because…
My mummy/daddy is X years old. (or) How old is your mummy/daddy?My sister is nice but sometimes (very) messy. (or) What is your sister like?
3. Love Bingo: 3×3
Level: intermediate/upper-intermediate (B1/B2)
Focus: collocations, vocabulary
Use a projector or give the following list of words to the students and ask them to discuss (and translate into their first language) what they mean. Ask them to write down 9 expressions from the list into a grid and explain that you are going to play a game of bingo where they need to define the expressions. When they find an expression on their paper, they need to cross it out. The first person with 3 expressions next to each other vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, wins the game. Here’s a list of words you could use:
to hug sb, to kiss sb, to receive a love letter, to have a crush on sb, to confess your love to sb, to compose a poem, to purchase jewellery, to go on a date, to bind a bouquet, to go out with sb, to break up with sb, to make up with sb, to get to know each other, to ask sb out, to move in with sb, to fall for sb, to forgive sb, to split up with sb, to set up a date, to arrange a blind date, to use a pick-up line, to act like lovebirds, to fall in love at first sight
+1 Match Made in Heaven
Level: intermediate/upper-intermediate (B1/B2)
Focus: introducing people, speaking
Materials: “Famous Couples” flashcard set
Flashcard sets are versatile; they can become a simple memory game, a fun activity for pairing up students through eliciting casual dialogue or a speaking activity to describe the character a student is looking for. However, we don’t have to restrict ourselves to these activities. Alternatively we can rely on students’ knowledge of the couples and their lives to create a storytelling session in the classroom. Understanding a story tailored to your students’ language proficiency level and knowledge makes this oral comprehension task even more effective and successful for everyone.
Why do we need Valentine’s Day activities for school?
Some might argue that Valentine’s Day is an artificial, commercialised, cheesy day only for couples. Elementary school Valentine’s games are very popular, but it is more difficult to come up with Valentine’s ESL lesson plans which positively engage older students. However, Valentine’s day provides more opportunities than we might initially think:
- Valentine’s Day is a timely way to teach about the culture of the target language. You can rely on your students’ knowledge and understanding to improve intercultural skills.
- We can show students that expressing feelings is not only acceptable but extremely important, despite the fact that some students may have been raised with different beliefs. As educators, we are responsible to encourage students to grow and to facilitate the development of emotional intelligence and people skills, even if only through a Valentine class letter or a simple roleplay.
- Fun classroom activities on this day can make it easier to appreciate the little thoughtful actions we can do to cheer each other up. A small hidden message or a candy can reflect our caring, love and the benefits of being together. All these fun activities and silly games can also help to refine interpersonal skills.
- Rejecting the idea of Valentine’s Day in class is a very common reaction of teenagers and we should exploit it. Critical thinking and debates can spring from controversial ideas. Encourage your students to express their personal opinions to improve communicative skills, such as reasoning.
- Last but not least, Valentine’s Day is a fun means to learn related vocabulary along with symbols of love and affection, to build expressive vocabulary. For some students, a “neutral” cultural context makes it easier to broach the topic and to discuss ideas without feeling intimidated or embarrassed.
So please don’t hesitate to try out at least one of our Valentine’s Day’s activities in class!