If you’re stuck on ideas for Valentine's Day classroom activities, we’ve rounded up a list of fun (free or cheap) activities and lessons, broken down by subject area:
- Affirming Adjectives - This activity can be done with any age group and can be crafted in multiple ways, one being to turn it into a bookmark for your students.
Here’s how it works: Give each student a handout of positive adjectives, like this one. Each student also gets a blank bookmark (or you can just cut light-colored construction paper into strips). Students should write their names on their own bookmark on one side. On the other side, their peers will each choose a word from the positive adjectives list that describes that person and write it on their bookmark. (You can have them leave the bookmarks on the desks and have the students rotate around to each one, or whatever system works for you.)
The trick is that no word can be used twice on an individual’s bookmark. However, the list you give them can be pretty substantial, eliminating any writer’s block. You can take up the bookmarks and laminate them, and each student will then have a daily reminder of how awesome he/she is! (Heck, put one out there for you as well! It would be good for the students to see you participate in this, and you’ll get to see yourself through your students’ eyes!)
- Love Letters - Practice the art of old-fashioned letter writing and have your students compose letters of appreciation to some of the more under-the-radar people around the school. Assign the kids a name of someone: a bus driver, custodian, lunchroom worker, school nurse, counselor, principal, etc. Then have them write a letter thanking them for what they do. Have them get specific; help them think of a time when they were directly impacted by the actions of this person.
- Candy Hearts Estimation - Fill a clear jar with candy hearts, and have the students estimate how many there are. Talk about the difference between a blind guess and an estimation. Tell them to write down not only their guess, but a description of their strategy as well. The closest guesser wins the contents of the jar (or whatever prize you chose). Discuss estimation strategies with students.
- Candy Heart Graphing - Each student gets a box of candy hearts. They will count how many of each color are in their box and create a bar graph. They could also be combined into a collective class-wide graph. As an alternative, they could graph the phrases instead (or in addition to). Is any color or phrase very low or very high compared to others? Discuss theories as to why that might be.
- Crystal Hearts - This classic science experiment ends with a fun take-home crystal heart for your students. It does require some gathering of materials, but the students love to watch it develop and change in the classroom. Here’s a link to the instructions.
- 11 more options for STEM activities are available here. Some of these are candy-related, but the Valentine flipbook or the spinning thaumatrope are totally sugar-free!
- The History Behind Valentine’s Day - This free printable is a one-page history lesson on the history of Valentine’s Day. It comes with comprehension questions, a cause/effect activity, and an answer key.
- These free printable history Valentine's from AmpedUp Learning are fun to share with your students, just for grins!
Bonus - Any Subject
- Valentine’s Day Snap Game - Ok, this one costs six bucks, but it is money well spent. It’s a game that combines concentration, observation, and a little bit of competition. It can work for any age group, and it comes with everything you need (game, instructions, printables). BONUS: if you set the rules that it has to be silent in order to get your points, it is one of the quietest blocks of time you’ll experience in ages. The seller makes the same type of game for several holidays/occasions, so check it out!
- Need more? Run a search for your subject and "Valentine's Day" at our giant library of free resources.
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