By Allie Magnuson
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to teach the concepts of friendship and kindness to children. For a terrific interactive lesson, have your students perform the play “Valentine’s Day Around the Clock.” Throughout the day, various acts of kindness are performed, and rewarded with paper hearts. The play has eight characters (three boys and five girls), with the whole class appearing at the end, and the lines are easy to learn rhymes and repetitions. It is a sweet play that shows how a heart can symbolize things other than just “mushy love.”
It’s also easy to follow up the play with fun and easy extension activities.
The most obvious thing to do is what the characters do in the play. Set out a basket with paper hearts, and students can give them to each other.
A variation of student-to-student valentines is teacher-to-student valentines. Instead of giving out hearts, hang up a paper garden with a clear pocket overlay, and when a student does something kind, slip a heart flower into the garden. Try to get every student in the garden!
Another way to practice kindness is to recognize students not for what they do, but for who they are. As a class, come up with a few positive descriptions of each student and write them out on big valentines.
Valentine’s Day should be a happy holiday on which we celebrate ourselves and the people we care about. Not only is it nice to give and receive compliments, the giving and the receiving are also good for our self-esteem. With this play, you are on your way to teaching your students the basics of friendship, kindness, appreciation, and self-worth!