I clearly remember my own experiences as a Grade 2 student or thereabouts... there were valentine’s cards to be purchased and filled out for your favourite friends, then “delivered” into the decorated bags your teachers had killed several periods making with you over the past week... there was always an unspoken contest over who got the most valentine’s cards, and embarrassment for those poor schmucks in the class who got few or none.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then; most teachers set the expectation that if cards are brought in, they are to be given out to the whole class, rather than selectively. Nevertheless, in my own classrooms, I tend to largely ignore this holiday, being far too busy with “important” curriculum to observe any cheesy holidays – such a waste of time... or so I thought!
My Grade 3 students had other ideas: This morning, they arrived ready to deliver meticulously crafted valentine’s cards to all their little friends, many of them handmade (the cards, not the friends), and several including little treats like chocolates or pencils. One student even brought me a box of "Black Magic".
How could I say no?
An impromptu valentine’s party broke out, as students hugged each other and said kind and wonderful things to one another. We played cheesy love songs, read the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Langston Hughes (selected highlights!), and wrote love letters to moms, dads and grandparents.
They say if you can’t beat them, join them. So I did. With a little curriculum connection – music and writing – thrown in. And it was FUN!
Check out the poems, chart and special paper we used to write our own love letters this morning... Click below to download the word doc. (Feel free to share, modify and/or use as is.)