As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am not a big fan of seasonal art unless the lesson involves some amazing creative twist on the typical projects and some actual learning and thinking takes place.
Valentine’s Day is an exception in my class because I am a huge fan of all things LOVE. I think if people would put more love OUT into the world, it would be a very different place. I use V-day to help my students think about the meaning of LOVE and the many ways we can feel and give it.
I am sending this post early because I really want you to try this lesson and let me know how it goes.
Start by saying to your class, ‘Today we are going to talk about LOVE!”. This will get everyone’s attention and you will get lots of giggles because kid’s first reaction is the LOVE you have for someone else, in the romantic sense. Start by listing all the people you LOVE in your life such as parents, siblings, other family members, teachers, rock stars, etc… so your students realize that just because you LOVE someone, it doesn’t mean you want to marry them–unless of course they are George Clooney!
Next, list ‘things’ and ‘places’ you LOVE that make you happy such as sunny days, rainbows, puppy dogs, pizza, ice-cream, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens… this is your cue to start singing that song from the Sound of Music before getting caught by Capatain Von Trapp, a.k.a your principal!! You may laugh but I actually do this sort of stuff (dancing, singing) all the time, I’m just goofy that way… 🙂
Need a little inspiration? I dare you to watch the clip and sing out loud with Julie Andrews.
Next, discuss some possible ways how everyone could show LOVE and give LOVE to others (through a smile, a compliment, a thank you, saying I LOVE you, helping someone cross the street, helping out at home, etc..).
Give everyone some 9×12 paper and crayons. I much prefer using oil pastels because of the vibrant colors but this is up to you. With a black crayon or oil pastel, ask everyone to draw 3 hearts representing people and things they LOVE AND 3 hearts representing the people and things they can show and give LOVE to.
Color in the hearts and outline them with different colored crayons to create a colorful aura. Remind your students to think about the person or thing their heart represents as they are doing them.
Give out some white crayons and have your students make swirls all over the paper and around the hearts. Remind them to press down hard on the crayon so the designs show up later when they paint.
Have some tempera wash ready in two different colors and let the students paint a wash over their gorgeous hearts. Do you have dry tempera cakes? These are the one I always use for easy washes and it work great too because they are in a tray and all you need are brushes and water.
Isn’t this a such a great way to teach kids the importance of showing and giving LOVE and the gratitude that goes hand in hand with appreciating the people and things that make us so happy in our lives? Hopefully they will agree with me that every day should be Valentine’s Day.
Have a great Valentine’s Day and sending lots of LOVE your way because I LOVE that you are here reading this post today.
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At the beginning of the school year I made heart maps with my students inspired by My Map Book by Sara Fanelli. I do this at he beginning of the year because I find it a great way to get to know the students and their interests better ( I teach at a school with an emergent curriculum). It would make a great Valentines activity too. I love the idea of sharing music, especially My Favorite Things with students to inspire some ideas they could include.
This is so cute! Thanks for sharing. My son is sick today and stayed home. He was upset that he was going to miss art class because they were working on their Valentine’s projects. I did a google search and found your blog. We have everything but tempura paints, so I think I will let him do all of that and then tomorrow pick up the paints for him to finish. Either way it will make him feel much better!