6 Valentine’s Day Lessons with a Twist

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It’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, Facebook is full of cheesy love quotes and speed dating lessons are being dusted off in classrooms around the world.Thinking of trying something different with your class this year? Check out  these 6 Valentine’s Day lessons with a twist.



 1. Proposal fails

This is a great lesson by Jamie Keddie where students watch a clip of a very public marriage proposal going wrong. I’ve used this lesson many times in class and it always goes down a storm. Check it out here.

2. Haikus

imgresHaikus are a great way to get your students writing and really thinking about language. You can use the love theme for Valentine’s day but they are great to use at any time of the year. Typically Haikus follow this structure: 3 lines totalling 17 syllables. The lines are usually split by syllables 5-7-5.

Here are some examples of Haikus.

You can use haikus with a variety of levels and different themes here are some ideas to try:


  • Get students to focus on pronunciation and the use of stress and syllables in English.
  • Get students to expand the haikus and put the grammar and vocabulary back in.
  • Get students to strip a text, song or poem down to the bare bones. They can write it as a haiku.
  • Show students some examples and get them to write their own.

 3.Unexpected love letters

Nice lesson from Elt-resourceful based on a couple who find love through an email sent in error. Check it out here.


 4. Autocorrect Fails

There are loads of these available online. Great for a warmer activity, to teach SMS language or focus in on different structures. Choose an SMS to project on the board and gradually uncover each part of the message. Pull out useful phrases/structures as you go, ask students to predict the responses or ask students to write the next SMS in the sequence.


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5. Love behind bars

Damien Echols was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. This is the story of how he fell in love and got married whilst on death row, to a woman who watched a documentary about his trial. A really interesting story to get students talking. There are lots of angles you can take with this but the clips and text would work best with advanced level students.

Show half the students the clips of Damien and give the other half the text to read. Ask them to piece together the story to create a full picture. After, you can lead the discussion on to: how they fell in love, loving someone you have never met, life on death row, life outside of prison, the film ‘Paradise Lost’ based on the trial or the death penalty. There are lots of directions you can take the discussion in order to fit your students’ needs.




 6. What is Love?

An ELT-Connect lesson where students watch a YouTube clip and listen to children describing ‘love’ as they take notes to compare with their partners, before discussing the concept of a ‘street challenge’ where passers-by press a mysterious button in the street. The language focus is practicing usage of verbs + infinitives as groups design their own ‘street challenge’ and present to the class. Check it out here.

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