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Valentine's Day-- If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join Em
posted by: Megan | February 14, 2011, 05:08 PM   

Hearts, red, pink candy, flowers (plastic and real), cards, blushing faces, a few tears , and Val-o-grams. Ah, it must be Valentine's Day at the middle school. I could never bring myself to "ban" the holiday in class. I love the sentiments of love too much. I even brought in treats for a year or two.

For myself and my classes I settled on the fact that the kids weren't going to forget the day so I might as well do what I could to use it for teaching. Here are a few general ideas for different content areas that could be of help:

Writing: teach voice in the writing of cards (like my "Thank You" cards post) or letters of adoration to Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez.

Reading: pull out the poetry folks because Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Shakespeare have a few good words on the subject. Or you can go macabre and share something like "Porfiria's Lover" (that will raise some good questions and conversation).

Science: time for a lesson about the heart or blood or the hypothalamus. If you're teaching earth science what about male/female relationships in the animal kingdom? If you're teaching chemistry, any good love potions out there? If not, then a lesson on chemical bonding or electromagnetic fields will fulfill the Valentine's Day lesson plan quota.

History: we all know that a few good battles have been fought over love. Or share the various histories of how Valentine's Day began.

Media or Economics: open students' minds to the commercialization of the holiday and the controversy surrounding it.

Physical Education: play an old-fashioned game of tag and toss in the word "cooties." Or my favorite, partner tag. (Email me about this one if it interests you and I'll explain). Side note: my freshman year of college we played kissing rugby; I promise it was innocent fun!

Home Economics: homemade sugar cookies and frosting (Email me for my mother's recipe.) Or sew a heart-shaped pillow.

Math: check out these fun ideas at (Disclaimer: I am horrible at math and so my ideas are limited).

Politics: how many politicians have been brought down (or elevated higher) because of their sticky love triangles?

Language: find a poem in your language. Pablo Neruda has some great love poetry, but be careful, his work can be a little spicy for kids.

Choir/ Drama: need I even say anything? There is so much material from which to choose! In fact, have the kids choose their favorite love songs or dialogues and bring them in to discuss, act out, sing, arrange.

As far as classroom management is concerned, take a moment to express your appropriate and professional admiration for you students. Write them a class note and read it aloud. They're a big part of your life; let them know of the good they bring to it.

Like I said, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Open your heart and love the day.


Originally posted by Jill on AAE's website. 



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