There is no doubt about it–Valentine’s Day is one of the craziest days in a middle school classroom. Hormones and red carnations fly, and I will tell you from my own experience that the day can either be incredible or a complete nightmare.
Today, I will share my tips and tricks for creating a lesson on Valentine’s Day that will engage your students, feed on their energy and enthusiasm, and still teach rigorous content.
First things first. I’ve found that pretending like it’s just any other day actually might work against you.
So the first tip I have for you is to just embrace the day and have fun with your kids. Get into the spirit of the day with them (even if you don’t love the holiday yourself, which if we’re being honest, is sort of how I feel ).
But just for today, play along with the crazy giggly, silly, and hormonal energy of your students. Pass out Valentines to the kids (and grab some free ones here!), make cookies or bring some fun snacks, and end class with a fun Valentine’s-themed game!
My second tip is, if at all possible, tie your curriculum into Valentine’s day. While this does take some planning, it’s definitely worth it and fairly easy to incorporate. Let me give you some examples to get your wheels turning.
Perhaps you do some writing in class that day. Have students pick out a candy conversation heart from a box and require them to include that phrase in their writing. Silly, yes, but it keeps things academic while incorporating the holiday even in the smallest sense.
If you’re doing some reading, consider having students write a love letter from the perspective of a character in the book. Allow them to be silly, but still maintain the point of view of the character from the novel or short story.
Even though Valentine’s Day is sure to be a little more rowdy than usual in your classroom, just remember how special your students are to you and how special you are to them. Give them the gift of a few laughs and a little silliness. Keeping a good sense of humor throughout the day is sure to make it go more smoothly.
Today you will hear:
- [01:30] All about our new training: The Secret Formula for Creating Engaging ELA Lessons
- [05:18] Our number one tip for surviving Valentine’s Day in the classroom (Hint: play a few games!)
- [09:05] Three lesson plan ideas to maintain rigor but stay in the Valentine’s Day spirit!
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