Hello my fellow reader, if you have stumbled on this blog post it seems you’re looking for ideas on what to share and discuss for Valentine’s day in class with your students. Well that’s perfect, first of all feel free to use all relevant information that you think is useful for your classes as well as the presentation that I shared with my students which will be provided below.
To set the mood running with the class I started my session with asking them if they knew what Valentine’s day was and if they indeed celebrated this in Spain. This helps you see which of your students know about the topic you will be sharing, which do not and which are really engaged with the class. I find this very helpful as it sets the tone on how my approach to them will be. As I expected, all of them knew about Valentine’s day but most of them didn’t actually cared about the holiday. Well aside from the girls in class, most boys werent that too excited about it.
Before getting on with my class I mentioned that we were going to do 3 activities. The first was a Power Point Presentation (found at the end of the post for your use) in which it explains the origins and history of Valentine’s day, secondly watch a short video which also explains the story but in a more funny and simple way. (I recommend sharing videos with your class as students enjoy them very much, they engage more with them and sometimes it’s easier for them to understand when watching a video than rather having a normal class and finally we were going to do a role play activity un which they would imagine or recreate being on a first date. (I will explain it with more details later)
History about Valentines Day:
Before Valentines, the Romans practiced a celebration in mid-February. The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned would be his companion for a year.
Origins of Valentines Day:
Valentine’s Day origin is from the 3rd Century, in Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.
Roman Emperor Claudius banned marriage from his empire. But Valentine secretly performed marriages. When Claudius found out about Valentine, he sentenced him to death
While in prison, Valentine fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. Before his death, he sent a farewell message to her, signed “From your Valentine.” The phrase is still used on Valentine cards today.
Check out this video that I shared with the class which explains the story on a more interesting and funnier side.
Lovers and friends exchanged small tokens of affection and handwritten notes. By the end of the 18th century, printed cards replaced handwritten notes.
Valentine’s Day was imported to North America. Later in the 20th century, the practice of giving gifts along with paper-laced cards became popular. Roses, candies and chocolates are the most commonly exchanged.It is a cute celebration, people take time to share with the people they love. Couples go to dinner, plan something romantic, and give presents.
Today, it is estimated that one billion Valentine cards are sent each year, 85% of which are sent by women. Valentine’s Day is mostly celebrated in the USA, the UK, Ireland, France and Australia.
Once the presentation ends, ask questions and interact with the group so that stay engaged with the class. Then explain that the last part of today’s lesson includes a (Role Playing game) in which they have to recreate a first date conversation with a partner.
The instructions are the following: (explain the activity first then proceed)
- Hand out the (Speed Dating Game Card) which they will use to fill in the information of an imaginary or created person/character. The speed dating sheet can be found here as a PDF File:speed-dating-game
- Explain to your class that they must fill out this sheet with the information from their imaginary character but after they have been separated into pairs or couples. Once students are in couples they must each fill out the speed dating sheet with their characters information. After they have filled it out they must act as if they where on a first date with his or her’s partner and ask each other the questions found on the speed dating sheet. Their answer must be the information they filled out from their character. (Emphasize that they must speak english amongst themselves.)
- After explaining the instructions, count how many students are in the class and give them 2 minutes to choose a partner or “pair/couple”
- Once paired, give your students 5 minutes to complete the speed dating sheet with the information from their character and to act their first date
- Once finished, ask for volunteers to perform their role play in front of the class.
Here is a video of one role play example from my 1st Bachillerato class:
Below please find the power point presentation shared in class:
And that’s it, a summary of my St Valentine’s activity in class. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as my students and have found some useful materials to use in your classes. Subscribe for more class material and resources.
Thanks and God Bless,
© Samuel Enrique Martinez Fuster