Updated: Mar 7, 2022
This school year has been unpredictable and, let's be honest, more than a little stressful. With the Omicron surge over the holidays, many schools had to start their spring semesters of 2022 virtually. While many schools are back to in-person learning, other schools or learning institutions have opted to continue teaching virtually.
Despite the pandemic, celebrating Valentine's Day with your class can be one of the highlights of this time of year. The day of love might look a bit different than what we are used to, but most teachers are accustomed to virtual learning by now.
While many accuse Valentine's Day of becoming nothing more than a commercialized holiday, you can't deny that being locked down in a pandemic has highlighted the importance of strengthening the connections with your loved ones and spreading positivity (but not COVID positivity).
The emotional toll of the pandemic affects all of us, especially our children. That's why finding moments of joy are so important. We've put together a list of nine fun and creative ways to educate your students and celebrate Valentine's Day in your virtual classroom to give February a little mid-month love!
Though they are open for anyone, these activities are best suited for students from 1st grade through 5th grade.
1. Create digital Valentine's cards
Glitter Meets Glue, a website with art resources for teachers, offers a virtual solution for your annual Valentine card exchange for your classroom. This 100% digital Valentine's Day cards activity also includes templates to create hundreds of combinations of cards! It's perfect for both virtual and in-person kids and requires no printing. Although classic handmade cards are great, virtual options also have the additional benefit to improve students' digital literacy.
2. Create a Valentine’s Day e-card
With Smilebox and Zazzle, you can choose from tons of free Valentine's Day-themed e-cards to customize for friends and family. Unlike digital cards, e-cards can include GIFs, animations, and songs. Let's see a handmade card that can beat that!
3. Read a Valentine's Day book
We Are Teachers, an educational resource website, has 40 teacher-approved Valentine's Day books for the classroom, including Little Ant's Valentine, Clack Clack, Moo I Love You, and When an Elephant Falls in Love. Choose one and read it aloud to your students!
4. A virtual Valentine's PE class
With all that Valentine's Day chocolate, you may need a constructive way to channel all that energy from your students' sugar high. This YouTube video, "Cupid on the Run," is the perfect Valentine's Day-themed exercise class. Your kids will be jumping up to catch pretend chocolates in their mouths and beating imposter cupids.
5. Watch a Valentine's Day video
We Are Teachers has a roundup of 15 Valentine's Day-themed videos that your younger students will love. From How Did Valentine's Day Start to Valentine's Day Phonics, these cute videos will entertain your kids while educating them at the same time!
6. Create a Valentine’s Day screen background
Regardless of what you use for your online classroom, students can spice up their videoconferencing software by customizing their video chat background for a festive Valentine's Day theme. Sites like Canva offer a variety of customizable templates to choose from, as well as some pre-made Valentine's Day backgrounds.
Undecided about which online classroom platform is right for your students? Check out HiLink's product for a new education video platform.
7. Valentine's Day bingo
Remote bingo is a fun way to warm up an online crowd. The Spruce Crafts, a DIY craft and hobby site, contains 11 sets of free and printable Valentine Bingo cards. This works best if the bingo cards are printed out for students or if your virtual classroom software has a whiteboard feature for students to annotate.
8. Valentine's Day Trivia
A more complex and challenging game, trivia is a fun way to celebrate any occasion. Depending on the questions, a trivia game is a great option for older or more advanced students with more knowledge. Osmo and Trivia4Kids provide a wide array of Valentine's Day trivia questions ranging from easy to difficult.
9. Write Valentine's Day poems
Poetry is a wonderful tool to help students that are "reluctant readers" work on their literacy skills. This poetry writing activity from the literary resources of MsJordanReads is the perfect formula to improve students' writing skills as well as hone their creativity. For this lesson, students will read a silly poem by Jack Prelutsky, such as the one below, and then have the students create their own short stanza.