HomeOthersValentine's Day Activities for ELA Students in High School and Middle School

Valentine’s Day Activities for ELA Students in High School and Middle School

It’s important to me to plan unique Valentine’s Day activities for my high school students because I want to make sure that each of them feels loved and valued.

I used to despise Valentine’s Day when I was in elementary school. It was always a bit nerve-wracking for me since I was terrified of being the kid who only received two or three valentines on Valentine’s Day (and only because they had parents who made them sign a valentine for every student in the class).

In middle school, Valentine’s Day didn’t improve because only the “popular kids” had boyfriends or girlfriends and received Valentine’s Day gifts at school. I recall my mother sending me flowers to school because she must have sensed my anxiety about the holiday. Fortunately, she was wise enough not to write “Love Mom” on them.

I’ve always imagined that as a teacher, I’d attempt to make Valentine’s Day a special and good experience for children who would benefit from some lightheartedness and fun on this day. And I’ve done the same thing with every Valentine’s Day activity I’ve tried over the years.

Even as a high school ELA teacher, I’ve found ways to make special holidays like Valentine’s Day while maintaining the rigor of my regular ELA lesson plans. The following Valentine’s Day activities will not only meet several literacy requirements, but they will also help your pupils feel more appreciated and thought of on Valentine’s Day.

High School and Middle School Valentine’s Day Activities ELA: PODCASTS WITH A LOVE THEME

Episodes of the Valentine’s Day podcast for the classroom- As frequent readers of this site know, I’m a big fan of using podcasts in the classroom. While I like listening to hundreds of ELA podcasts, I understand that most English teachers do not have the time. That’s why, on my website and Instagram (@BuildingBookLove), I’ve been sharing more and more ELA-related podcast recommendations. Holidays are an excellent opportunity to experiment with podcasts in the classroom since they give a natural way to break up regular lesson plans and generate extra engagement for candy-filled school days like Valentine’s Day. Consider listening to a podcast for a unique Valentine’s Day activity!

Here are several love-themed podcasts for middle school and high school students:

  • “The Kinseys” is episode 26 of the podcast. This is the essence of love. This is an absolute must-listen. It’s one of those uncommon stories that keeps you smiling the whole time while still being socially significant. It’s the ideal Valentine’s Day podcast for me because it’s also appropriate for Black History Month.
  • The podcast This is Love’s episode 19 is titled “The Wolves.” On this one, I had to fight back ugly tears. It’s a beautifully presented story of Yellowstone’s wolves and their bonds with one another. It will engage your kids with its fascinating and inspiring story.
    Episode 13 of the podcast This is Love, “The Ugly Club” (I could go on and on about this podcast, but I’ll stop now) The host travels to a small town in Italy where being “ugly” is encouraged. This heartwarming episode serves as a reminder that beauty comes in all forms and that love brings people together.
  • Criminal podcast episode 126, “A New Kind of Life.” This love-themed episode is frightening and sweet at the same time. Its macabre paradox will pique your audience’s interest, and it could even be a good match for Poe’s “Annabelle Lee” or Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” Check out this post for another podcast recommendation in the similar love-after-death vein: Podcast Pairings for Secondary ELA Classrooms: Podcasts to Use in English Class “Heartbreak: Why Does It Hurt So Bad?” from the podcast Science VS. This podcast is one of my favorites since it examines scientific realities in opposition to popular assumptions. They have a number of fantastic subjects for argumentative writing in ELA, but their heartbreak episode is appropriate for Valentine’s Day. They even provide us with a ready-made metaphor!

If you’re an elementary school teacher, I’ve got some Valentine’s Day podcast suggestions for you as well! I don’t teach elementary school, but when I give talks about how to use podcasts in the classroom, I get a lot of feedback from teachers who have had great success with young listeners.

  • The Pants on Fire podcast’s episode 19 is titled “Chocolate.” The goal of this podcast is to teach kids how to tell the difference between fake news and expert perspectives. This episode is all about chocolate, making it a perfect Valentine’s Day episode.
    Stories Podcast episode “The Love Potion.” This is a charming fictional children’s story based on an Ethiopian folktale.
  • From the But Why podcast, “Do Animals Get Married?” This episode of interesting informational text is SO CUTE. It takes advantage of children’s innate curiosity and explains issues in simple terms. This Valentine’s Day show on animal pairings is great!
  • It’s critical to set your listeners up for success during their podcast activity, whether you’re teaching teens or younger grades. The first stage is to come up with an interesting and timely topic (which we have discussed! ), and the second is to keep listeners interested. Coloring and doodling while listening to podcasts has proven to be the most effective approach to engage listeners.

I was SHOCKED by how effectively this method worked the first time I attempted it with my high school English students. It keeps their hands occupied while also keeping their brains focused. This Valentine’s Day, give it a try by downloading these three FREE podcast coloring notes for your kids to utilize while listening to a love-themed podcast. Join my Building Book Love Letter to obtain these downloadable Valentine’s Day activity sheets.

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