Teaching Valentine’s Day is an exciting and fun holiday for both native and non-native English speakers. Teaching ESL students about Valentine’s Day can be a great way for them to learn about the culture, customs, and language associated with the celebration. Here are some tips to help elementary teachers teach their ESL students about Valentine’s Day.
First, it is important when teaching Valentine’s Day to Els to introduce the vocabulary associated with this holiday.
Words such as “love,” “hearts,” “flowers,” and “gifts” should be taught in conjunction with pictures or examples of each word when teaching Valentine’s Day. One of the most effective ways is by incorporating visual materials into your lessons. Check out our Valentine’s Word Wall here!
Visuals such as flashcards and charts are great for introducing new vocabulary words, like “heart,” “cupid,” or “gift.” They can also be used for grammar points such as possessive pronouns (“my heart” vs. “your heart”) and contractions (“I’m” vs. “I am”).
Additionally, when teaching vocabulary, visuals like posters and charts with images of hearts and other decorations are a fun way to create a festive atmosphere in the classroom while still reinforcing English language skills.
Second, when teaching Valentine’s Day include lots of oral practice.
It is beneficial to teach your English learners how to ask questions related to Valentine’s Day. I like to use different tenses to gain a deeper understanding of the holiday. For example, you can have them practice forming questions such as: “What do you usually do on Valentine’s Day?” or “Who is your valentine this year?”
Another teaching Valentine’s Day strategy is to make oral learning fun with games and activities. For example, you could set up Valentine’s Day-themed scavenger hunt around the classroom or school grounds. Students have to find items related to Valentine’s Day vocabulary in order to complete their mission. This activity encourages comprehension of the language while also being entertaining and engaging for students.
Another idea is playing charades or hangman with Valentine’s Day-related words, both of which support pronunciation practice as well as sentence structure and grammatical accuracy.
Third, add cultural and language objectives while teaching Valentine’s Day.
Teach ESL students about the holiday through activities that incorporate both culture and language learning objectives. For instance, you could have your kids write sentence starters and design cards for their classmates in which they express their friendship in English. This activity would not only give them practice with grammar structures, but also allows them to create something special for their friends on this day of love. In addition to having students write about the holiday and create cards for one another, integrate Valentine’s fun into all areas of your curriculum!
Finally, explain cultural aspects of Valentine’s Day so that ESL students can better understand its significance within certain countries or regions.
To do this you could discuss how different countries celebrate, stories related to Saint Valentine or Aphrodite (the goddess of love). In addition, teach how gifts such as chocolates and flowers became popular tokens of affection, or why February 14th was chosen as a day dedicated to love.
Overall, there are a lot of ways teachers can help their ESL students learn more about Valentine’s day while practicing both language and cultural literacy skills! Here are some of my ideas:
- introduce vocabulary words related to the holiday
- teach more about its origins
- have conversations around typical activities practiced on this day such as gift-giving and dinner dates
But wait! Don’t forget the parents!
In addition to these strategies, consider involving parents in their child’s education on this special holiday! Ask them if they have any traditional recipes that their family prepares on Valentine’s Day or any old stories about how families celebrate together on February 14th – having parents share their traditions helps students connect culturally with the holiday while also practicing their English in a safe space surrounded by people they trust. You could even ask students’ parents to write notes in English wishing their child a happy valentine’s day from them – not only does this provide cultural context for understanding the holiday better, but it also gives students an additional opportunity for practicing their language skills!
Ultimately, teaching ESL students about Valentine’s Day is FUN!
Approach this holiday in an interactive way with plenty of visuals and activities, it can help build enthusiasm among both teachers and students alike! With just a few creative ideas – such as scavenger hunts, charades, math activities or even involving parents – you can create an engaging lesson plan that will make learning about love during this special time enjoyable for everyone involved!