Valentine’s Day is one of the few times when it is OK to break the rule about avoiding talking about love and dating in the classroom. Since our students generally are intensely curious about those things and highly opinionated, Valentine’s Day is a great topic for endless authentic conversation. I first did this lesson in Kazakhstan, a fairly conservative culture, years ago and was astounded when at the end of our 90 minute session, I couldn’t get the students to leave.
Warm Up #1: The story of a relationship in phrasal verbs
- Put up the following list of phrasal verbs/idioms:
- get to know someone
- hang out
- ask out
- go out
- be together
- get engaged
- get married
- move in together
- have children
- break up
- get divorced
- Have students look it over and see if they can guess what these words have in common. Hold off on defining any of the terms at first to let students practice getting the main idea of a “text” without knowing every word.
- When students have had a few guesses, reveal that it is describing a relationship from meeting to divorce! Ask students if they feel this is typical or not. You can also ask students which steps they feel are necessary to a good relationship and which are not.
- Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
- What do we celebrate on Valentine’s Day?
- How do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
- Is Valentine’s Day celebrated differently in your country or culture?
- Who should pay on a date?
- Is love only for young people?
- Women: What advice would you give men who want to have a girlfriend?
- Men: What advice would you give women who want to have a boyfriend?
- What is the difference between being friends and being a couple?
- Is it possible to be friends with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend?
1. Have students interview their parents about how they met and fell in love.
3. Have students make Valentine’s Day cards. You can also have fun with this by having them make the worst ever Valentine’s Day card. Or give them a target audience such as teachers, farmers, doctors, the elderly, supermodels, or anything else you can think of.
The full lesson includes:
- 4 different warm up activities. You can choose one to use or chain them together to make a whole unit on Valentine’s Day.
- 36 Discussion Questions that scaffold from basic factual questions to open-ended questions about opinions on love, marriage, and relationships.
- The questions are formatted to be handed out to students and organized by topic. However, you may want to keep the list of questions yourself and ask them one by one.
- 5 extension activities for homework or a group project. You may also want to use all of these or pick just one.
Download it at TpT
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