Besides Halloween, Valentine's Day is at the top of the list when it comes to kids' favorite holidays. Thinking about trading cards and candy gets them really excited the days leading up to the holiday. As teachers, we know 'if we can't beat them, join them' is the way to go. The best way to do this is to come up with Valentine's activities for upper elementary students that will not only engage them but help you continue with your curriculum.
Here is a list lessons that work in my classroom, so I've adapted them into a Valentine's Day theme. I'm hopeful that you will find some ELA activities here that you will enjoy using with your students.
1. Valentine's "Heart" Idioms
If your students love idioms as much as mine do, they will love interacting with idioms focused on the "heart."
Introduce your students to 14 different idioms and allow them time to engage with them throughout the day.
Students can create idiom books or banners as a class or in groups. They can engage in a Scoot activity using idiom task cards and participate in Charades with mini preprinted idiom cards.
I've created a Valentine's resource with all these idioms activities that you can grab over at TeachersPayTeachers if you're interested in having all of these activities for the same 14 idioms.
2. Valentine's Day Vocabulary
Break away from your regular vocabulary wordlist and introduce your students to words focused on Valentine's Day.
Teach students the meaning of these new words. Educate them on how to search for synonyms and antonyms using a dictionary or online resources. Help them identify when to use the words by creating brainstorming webs. Then, have them create sentences and illustrations related to the words.
After having them share their sentences and illustrations with a partner, assess their understanding with a quick ten question quiz.
3. Valentine's Day Preposition Arrow
Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 has a great prepositional airplane lesson that ties in really well with Valentine's Day. She teaches the students how to create an arrow paper airplane. She then has them go outside and throw the airplane around. As the airplane landed, students write the prepositional phrase of where they landed straight onto the airplane. (Ex. on the grass)
To adapt this into a Valentine's Day assignment, tell the students that they are creating the arrowhead for Cupid's arrow. Have them create an arrow paper airplane. Then, have them complete the lesson as stated above. To wrap it up, have the students gather their prepositional phrases and fill in the Cupid's Arrow poem template.
4. Valentine's Conversation Heart Sentences
Have your students review 3rd - 5th grade grammar standards by having them write sentences using the words found on conversation hearts. They will enjoy the challenge, and it's a great way to get them reviewing the rules to writing sentences.
If you're teaching virtually, you can pull out the hearts yourself, show them the phrase, and challenge them to incorporate it into the sentence.