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First, a little trivia...
On February 14, Americans celebrate love and friendship by exchanging cards, flowers, and candy. Although the origins of Valentine's Day are murky, ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the fifteenth of February. Like so many holidays, a Christian gloss was added to the pagan fete when the holiday moved to the fourteenth of February—the saint day associated with several early Christian martyrs named Valentine.
The romance we associate with Valentine's Day may spring from the medieval belief that birds select their mates on February 14. During the Middle Ages, lovers recited verse or prose to one another in honor of the day.
Handmade valentines, probably the first greeting cards, appeared in the sixteenth century. Mass production of cards began as early as 1800. Initially hand-tinted by factory workers, by the early twentieth century even fancy lace and ribbon-strewn cards were created by machine.
This may be the first kissing scene in media.
Edison Manufacturing Co., 1900.
1. Valentine's Day Song for Kids
2. Valentine's Day Craft Activity Heart People and Animals
Instead of giving students a specific pattern to follow or making them create an exact duplicate of the perfect model, let them be creative! Start the activity by brainstorming a list of fun animals and characters. Next, give them several colors of paper. Who says Valentine's Day is only a pink and red holiday? You CAN give them templates for different size hearts OR just show them how to fold the paper in half and make all different sizes of hearts - tall, skinny, wide, scalloped edges, etc. Other helpful materials are glue, string, tiny confetti hearts (for eyes, etc.), felt tipped pens. Some examples are cows, people, pigs, lions, cats, ladybugs, and more! A quick search "paper heart animals" on google images will give you tons more ideas! Remember, though, let your students CREATE.
Use long strips of paper and accordion fold to make legs and arms.
Instead of gluing hearts together, attach with string to make a mobile.
As students are creating their Valentine's Day animals, take pictures every few minutes for the next activity.
3. Valentine's Day Sequencing Activities
Provide students with photos showing sequences, such as baking a Valentine's Day cake, making a smoothie, or creating Valentine's Day paper heart animals. The photos may be placed in a learning center or on an interactive bulletin board for students to practice placing them in correct sequential order. You may also arrange the photos on a piece of paper, photocopy, and let student cut them out and arrange in the correct order.
4. Valentine's Day Finger Plays
Finger Play #1
I feel topsy. (tilt to one side)
I feel turvy. (title to the other side)
I feel absolutely fine. (Jump up with arms extended high!)
Thank you for my valentine! (point to friends)
Finger Play #2
I treat my friends (point to friends)
How I like them to treat me (point to self)
That's the Golden Rule, you see. (raise index finger)
If I'm kind and polite, (point to self)
My friends will treat me right (point to friends)
Everyday will be such fun.
Love is good for everyone. (place hand over heart)
5. Valentine's Day Writing
Discuss friendship. What is a friend? How do you become friends with someone? Discuss the phrase, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." How do you show love and affection? On Valentine's Day cards, gifts, and flowers are sent to family and friends. Love can also be expressed by sharing, helping, saying kinds words, doing kinds deeds, and being considerate of one another. Use the free writing paper below to have students write their thoughts regarding friendship.
If you need some more Valentine's Day writing prompts to help students produce amazing creative writing:
I know you will receive some serious and some humorous responses to the these writing activities, just like the interviewer from parenting.com. Note this video is meant for teachers, not a classroom activity. :) Enjoy!
Click this picture to watch the humorous interview for teachers:
Provide students with old magazines. Encourage students to create a collage of pictures and/or their own drawings that symbolize Valentine's Day to them. All the collages will be different. After the students are finished, display the collages and notice if some of the following symbols are represented:
HEART symbolizes love and emotion.
CUPID, Greek God of love and beauty, is represented as winged boy with arrow.
RED symbolizes warmth and feeling. It is associated with the heart.
WHITE is associated with bridal apparel.
LACE is used for bridal veils. This inspired its use on Valentine's Day as a symbol of romance.
FLOWER is a love token. A rose is the flower most closely associated with love.
BIRDS associated with this holiday include dove (a symbol of peace and romantic love) and lovebird (a small parrot that is greatly attracted to its mate). Ancient people thought birds chose their mates on Valentine's Day.
HAND symbolizes courtship. A man often asked a lady "for her hand."
7. Valentine's Day Checkers
Click HERE for directions from familyeducation.com
Cut matching pairs of hearts from various colors of construction paper. Place one heart of each pair in a box. Tape remaining hears to floor in a circle. Players walk on circle of hearts to music. When music stops, each player stands on one of the hearts. One heart is drawn from box, and player standing on matching heart chooses heart from box for the following walk. Repeat.
Valentine Sorting Box - Place hearts that are different sizes and colors in a box. Students may sore hearts according to size, color or both. Students may also make patterns with the hearts.
Divide into two equal groups. Each group forms a line on one side of the room. Teacher calls name of one child from each group. The two children named meet in the center of room. If they are wearing the same color, they are matched as partners and go to designated area. If children are not wearing the same color, they return to respective sides of room until their names are called again.
Variation: Using any of the task cards below, create answer cards on index cards. Give half of the class the cards with questions and half the index cards with answers. This is a great movement activity. Of course, brain research shows achievement increases with movement in the classroom.
11. Valentine's Day Card Crafts
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Click this picture to watch how to make these cards.
12. Free Online Valentine's Day Games
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Click this picture to see LOTS more online educational games for kids.
13. Scavenger Hunt Game
You will receive six task cards for 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade students to identify nouns. They also work well for ESL and special education students with your parts of speech unit. They may be used as a review, test prep or as a quick formative assessment. You will also receive a student response form and answer key.
For 30 more task cards to have a scavenger hunt or play games:
14. Free BINGO Cards and Coloring Pages
Click HERE for free BINGO cards and coloring pages from Crayola.com.
15. Minute to Win It Games and Activities
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