It is back to school time and at this period teachers have the opportunity to plan some projects ahead according to the school’s schedule and group’s level. These kinds of tasks are a great way to get students excited and motivated about learning. Moreover, they can make the language meaningful by linking it to authentic English practice opportunities.
Taking part in projects also requires that students use the language skills they have built up in class, develop teamwork competence, become managers of their learning process and increase the capacity of decision making. Also, when students are interested in what they are doing, they are inspired to use their areas of strength and have incredible results.
I absolutely love art and developing extra-curricular activities to increase students’ participation that will not only be fundamental for their learning but also for their culture awareness. However, this kind of planning demands time especially in class with students.
This month, teachers can work on some activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14th February. The celebration is just around the corner but there is still time to develop some of the following ideas, keep the students busy and help spread love. I will then suggest a few ideas to be set up in class, feel free to add your own and give suggestions.
- a) Lead-in activity: you can use an image of a heart to begin a discussion about love. Ask students if they have a favorite way to show love for their beloved ones and what can be done to spread love and kindness all around. This discussion could bring up some interesting cultural differences.
- b) Show the students a video about the origin of Valentine’s Day. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGx7q4O6w2w)
- Put students into pairs or groups and ask them to research how different countries celebrate Valentine’s Day. They can share it with the group on the next class or Students can use their cellphones to look up on the internet during the class. You can write some questions on the board to guide their research and encourage them to bring in examples of new vocabulary they have found. Creating a poster, a Power Point or Prezi presentation are great ideas, students will listen to each other, take notes and ask questions.
In case you do not have plenty of time to work the theme with the students, there are also other activities that are less-time consuming:
- Students can write a card, a message or a poem and give it to a loved one on Valentine’s Day.
- Box of chocolate activity: Without knowing that it is a box of chocolate, because it will be wrapped, one student start the activity saying: “I will give this gift to _____ (say a student’s name) because she/he is the most _______ (adjective) person in this group.”
The last person to receive the gift will open it and divide with the peers. Students will practice speaking and superlative.
- Friendship hearts: with cut out heart shaped pieces of paper with a name written on it (teacher must prepare in advance), students can write compliments about their classmates, the teacher collects them and hang above the chairs next class. This is a brilliant way to motivate all the class.
- For Intermediate Level upwards students, you can show the students this video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf3MM7jzkZw
or send via Whatsapp group one day before the class). Students can think about the role of luck or fate in our lives, and whether there really is someone for everyone.
Use this link to see the complete lesson- https://elt-resourceful.com/2013/02/10/to-r-p-salazar-with-love-free-downloadable-lesson/
- There are others fantastic lessons to work with teenagers.
Here they are:
- You can also find worksheets to work on vocabulary and readings related to the topic. You will catch great ones at
- For the young ones, there are beautiful crafts to be made in class and these sweet songs:
- Skidamarink (Animated Version) | Super Simple Songs
- If You Love Me and You Know It | Valentine Songs for Kids | Valentine’s Day Songs for Kids
- Valentines, Valentines, What Colors Do You See? | Valentine’s Day Song for Kids
Take for instance:
Finally, knowing the students’ skills is extremely important to select the activities to be used in class. You can also adapt these activities and have wonderful and productive classes as well. ’
Happy Valentine´s Day!