Valentine’s Day lessons can be found for middle school students!
Valentine’s Day is usually only celebrated in the elementary years. In middle school, you may use the holiday as a reason to have a dance as a fundraiser, but that is usually the extent of the “fun” around Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Background Information
What is Valentine’s Day, and Where Did it Start?
Today, we see Valentine’s Day as a day to show your love to others, usually in the form of chocolates and paper valentines. But it actually originated hundreds of years ago, starting as Saint Valentine’s Day and honouring the Catholic patron saint of love, Saint Valentine.
There is a legend about a priest who was martyred by the Roman Empire, who literally died for love. The story is about Saint Valentine, who ignored the ban against soldiers marrying and would perform marriages for the soldiers and their would-be wives. When he was caught, he was sentenced to death as a punishment.
Sounds romantic, right? But one small detail that is a possible part of the story is that Saint Valentine sent a note to a girl before he was executed, thus starting the tradition of sending valentines.
Valentine’s Day was recognized as a holiday starting in the late 5th century and may have been a reflection of the martyrdom and sacrifice of Saint Valentine. The tradition continues today, and over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent every year.
Middle School Valentine’s Day Lessons
I have fond memories of making my Valentine’s Day card holder in school and wanted to bring some of that magic into the school grades. I created a mini unit to help middle school teachers bring back that Valentine’s Day magic into their classroom, but with a focus on curriculum and rigour.
Start your lesson by having students watch one or two videos about this holiday. This video, How Did Valentine’s Day Start? by COLOSSAL QUESTIONS, is a great video to start with. Then, have students work on the lessons in this engaging Valentine’s Day Unit for middle school. It contains 10 different activities that will help reinforce your students’ reading, writing, speaking, listening, and creativity skills.
- Introduction – Share Kindness With Others Challenge
- Lesson 1 – The History of Valentine’s Day Article
- Lesson 2 – Valentine’s Day Opinion Questions
- Lesson 3 – Fishbowl Class Discussion & Opinion Writing Assignment
- Lesson 4 – Vending Machines Podcast Lesson
- Lesson 5 – Valentine’s Day Choice Board
- Lesson 6 – Valentine’s Day Creative Writing Assignment
- Lesson 7A – QR Code Vocabulary Search
- Lesson 7B – Valentine’s Day Word Detective, Word Search & Crossword Puzzle
- Lesson 8 – Valentine’s Day Word Call Game
Lessons are scaffolded to help all learners achieve success. Students will learn about the historical background of Valentine’s Day traditions, prepare for a Valentine’s Day discussion about current customs and create 1 of 2 final creative projects. You can find the Valentine’s Day Unit on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Valentine’s Day Lessons Unit Overview
- Introduction: Share Kindness With Others Challenge – Set the tone with a heartwarming activity that encourages kindness and empathy among students.
- Lesson 1: The History of Valentine’s Day Article – Delve into the captivating history behind Valentine’s Day through an article tailored for middle school comprehension. This article comes in both regular and modified versions. Students watch a brief video about the history of Valentine’s Day, then read a non-fiction article to help solidify this new learning. Comprehension questions for the article are included.
- Lesson 2: Valentine’s Day Opinion Questions – Encourage critical thinking with thought-provoking opinion-based questions. Students are given several Valentine’s Day-related opinion questions to answer. They will use their opinions and ideas in this lesson to assist with their fishbowl discussion and paragraph writing assignment.
- Lesson 3: Fishbowl Class Discussion & Opinion Writing Assignment – Foster a dynamic classroom environment with an interactive fishbowl discussion, sparking insightful opinion-based writing. Students use their prepared opinion ideas from Lesson 2 to participate in a class discussion and then a paragraph writing activity.
- Lesson 4: Vending Machines Podcast Lesson – Innovative learning unfolds with a captivating podcast lesson, exploring the use of vending machines in retail. Students will learn about how vending machines have changed over the years to include items such as specialty tea, cake, pizza, and more.
- Lesson 5: Valentine’s Day Choice Board – Empower students with through a choice board featuring diverse activities, catering to various interests. These activities have a focus on kindness.
- Lesson 6: Valentine’s Day Creative Writing Assignment – Students will select one of the provided character roles: Lost Valentine, Candy Hearts, Box of Chocolates, Stuffed Animal and Flowers and create a written or visual product based on the character’s specific writing prompt.
- Lesson 7A: QR Code Vocabulary Search – Incorporate technology seamlessly with a vocabulary search activity utilizing QR codes for an interactive lesson.
- Lesson 7B: Valentine’s Day Word Detective, Word Search & Crossword Puzzle – Boost vocabulary and problem-solving skills with fun and challenging word games tailored for the season.
- Lesson 8: Valentine’s Day Word Call Game – Wrap up the unit with an engaging word-based game that reinforces learning while keeping the excitement alive.
- 10 Valentine’s Day-Themed Literacy Activities
- Detailed Teacher Instructions
- 1 Non-Fiction Article (regular and modified versions)
- MP3 Audio Files of Article
- Comprehension Questions
- Creative Writing Assignment
- Opinion Questions
- Fishbowl Discussion Template
- Opinion Writing Assignment (Paragraph or Essay)
- Exemplars and Templates
- Levels & Points-Based Rubrics
- Answer Keys
- Word Detective, Word Search & Crossword Puzzle, Word Call Games
- PDF & Google Slides™ Formats
Additional Valentine’s Day Lessons Resources
Podcast Ideas for Valentine’s Day Lessons
Keep up the theme of candy and shopping with these consumer awareness podcast lessons about how companies get consumers to spend their money.
- Podcast Listening Comprehension Lesson – Fancy Product Names – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
- Podcast Listening Comprehension Lesson – Subscription Boxes – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
Sub Plan Ideas for Valentine’s Day Lessons
If you need to be away around Valentine’s Day, these sub plans are easy to leave for your substitute teacher.
- Middle School ELA Sub Plans – Topic Effects of Sugar – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
- Middle School ELA Sub Plans – Topic Party Planning – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
Creative Writing, Non-Fiction Article, & Digital Escape Room
If you’re looking for even more Valentine’s Day activities, here are some fun and creative ones your students will love.
- Valentine’s Day Creative Writing Assignment – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
- Valentine’s Day Non-Fiction Article – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
- Valentine’s Day Digital Escape Room – Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope these Valentine’s Day lessons for middle school students help with your February lesson planning load.
Other English Language Arts Lesson Plans
- Ditch The Weekly Lesson Prep: Full Year Lesson Plans For English Language Arts Teachers
- Article of the Week Lesson Ideas for Middle and High School Students
- The Comprehensive 100-Minute Literacy Block in the Intermediate Classroom