Valentine's Day Activities for Middle School

I may be solo on this, but I love teaching on Valentine’s Day! I can’t quite pinpoint why! I think it’s because I love all the different projects I have done over the years, and I have loved each one. So I compiled a list of some of my favorite activities to do on this day. They can be adapted for a variety of levels as well! 

Love Letters- Not just writing any love letter- I have the students write love letters to random animate objects. They must come up with multiple reasons why we love these objects so much. (examples: stapler, pencil, paper, books, chairs, etc.) This has the students thinking more creatively about why we love many of the objects we have. 

The Chaser” by John Collier- This is one of my favorite short stories! I love this story because I teach 7th grade, and not all students pick up on what is truly happening. It is fun to see which students think it is a happy-ending story or if there is more to it. I have the students create a potion that is too good to be true. They use persuasive techniques to sell this potion. For my higher-level students, I have the students write a front-page newspaper article five years later. They have to make predictions about what happens with the main character and the love of his life.

Speed Dating with a Book- (If you do not like “speed dating” I have also called this Book Tasting). Either way, this is a fun way to expose students to a variety of books in a small amount of time. I set up areas in my room with various books. I give them a short amount of time to read a section of the book to see if it would be a good fit for the students. Pinterest has many ideas if you want to make this a huge production!

Celebrations Around the World: Have the students take some time to research similar holidays celebrated all around the world. I would compile a list of all the fun and interesting things people do to celebrate! This is an excellent opportunity to write a compare and contrast essay as well.

Crumpled Love Writing: This can be adapted for any holiday! I display pictures on the board that relates to the holiday. I tell the students to start writing (in pen) a story based on the image; I strongly encourage the students to be as creative as possible. After 1-2 minutes, I have them stop writing. The students then crumple their paper and toss it around the room. The students grab a paper off the floor and continue the story that has been started. I do a total of three rounds. As the last person is writing, I inform them to be sure to end the story. These are so fun to read because so many of the stories start in one direction, and it goes in a completely different direction! 

Write a Break-up Letter: This is more like anti-Valentine’s Day, but it is still fun! I talk to the students about the Declaration is actually a huge break-up letter. We do a little research on the Declaration and tie it back to a break-up letter. Then I have the students write a break-up letter to something or someone. (I make it VERY clear this is meant to be fun, and no student names or representations are to be done). They choose their topic and compile a list of grievances they have. I give them a basic format. Check out some student examples here

Again, I love teaching on Valentine’s Day, but I still want to hear what you do on this fun day! Share in the comments! 

by Erin-Jane Stevens, Contributing Teacher/Writer. Erin-Jane Stevens is a middle school ELA teacher who strives to bring excitement to each class she sees.  She continues to find and create fun, new, and rigorous ways to captivate students’ attention and grow their love for ELA.

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