A web site for the developing language teacher

Valentine's Day 2002
Teaching Tip lesson

To see the materials

For a Word version


Preliminary information

Time: 60-75 minutes??

Level: Intermediate upwards

To give reading practice - stage 2
To review vocabulary/structure - stage 3
To make stds aware of 'rhythm' - stage 1
To give freer speaking practice- stage 4

That the stds will be interested in Valentine's Day
That the language in the text will not be too difficult.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Some of the vocabulary may be challenging >> pre-teach essential items?

Valentine's card verse
Cuisenaire rods
Reading text - 'Avoid the great Valentine rip-off'
Roleplay cards


Stage 1- Intro to Valentine's Day

10-15 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Give out the verse & in pairs ask the stds to say them aloud so that they sound rhythmic - then the stds could represent the rhythm with cuisenaire rods - see the rods & rhythm page for an idea.
2. Elicit what the connection is between the rhymes & the 14th February - Valentine's Day - do they celebrate it? has it been celebrated for many years in their countries? How has Valentine's Day changed with the new invention of online dating? How is it usually celebrated? Flowers, sending cards, chocolates, dinner etc...
3. Move on to the financial aspects of the present giving - worth it? do people spend much? do they?

Stage 2 - Reading - 'Avoid the great Valentine rip-off'

10-15 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Put the headline on the board 'Avoid the great Valentine rip-off' & in pairs the stds brainstorm what the article might be about - tell them to write down three ideas.
2. Feedback - you could collate some on the board.
3. Extensive reading - stds read to see which of their ideas approximates the article most.
4. Read - give a time limit of one minute (?) & stick to it.
5. Feedback - which ideas fit with the article?

6. More intensive reading - scanning - stds identify the following numbers - as quickly as they can.

What do the following numbers refer to:


Which of the presents that some of the above numbers refer to would you like to receive?

7. Stds compare their answers in pairs.
8. Feedback - as you go through the answers pick up on interesting things & elicit/explain some vocab (splash, hamper..) - get the stds to 'respond' to the text.

Stage 3 - Language focus ideas

15-20 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. You could then look at the vocabulary - words connected to romance, words connected to money & spending, - stds could build up mind maps of the different areas. Dictionaries could be used with this.

2. There are some clear examples of conditional, e.g.

- And if you want to send a Valentine hamper, this will cost the best part of £35.

- ..but if you splash out on the 'spectacular' bouquet at £59.99, a free box of Belgian chocolates is thrown in.

In pairs, ask the stds to underline examples of conditional sentences, look at the difference with the form/structure & the meaning >> stds write their own examples on the same theme.

3. The future simple, present simple & present continuous could be contrasted, using the same procedure as in 2.

Stage 4 - Follow up activities.

1. Speaking - roleplays:

A: Your partner has forgotten Valentine's Day. S/he does this every year & you feel there is no romance left in the relationship. Talk to him/her - you're thinking of leaving.
B: Your partner doesn't understand you. You work 10 hours every day to make ends meet.

A: Your partner has received a mysterious Valentine's card along with a huge box of chocolates. You are very suspicious (& jealous).
B: You have received a Valentine's card & a huge box of chocolates. You are not sure who sent it although you think it might be from a very brief relationship you had last month. It's a bit embarrassing with your long-term partner.

2. Speaking - debate - for & against celebrating Valentine's Day.

3. Writing - the debate but in writing - could be a letter to the editor - a reader who is 'disgusted' with the commercialism of romance....

4. Speaking - could follow up on the flirting lessons mentioned in the article & get the stds to come up with a list of 10 essential things to do when flirting - vote on the best list - & then put them into practice by flirting with each other in English!

To the Past Teaching Tips

Back to the top

Tips & Newsletter Sign up —  Current Tip —  Past Tips 
Train with us Online Development Courses    Lesson Plan Index
 Phonology — Articles Books  LinksContact
Advertising — Web Hosting — Front page

Copyright 2000-2016© Developing