Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday to prepare for because people respond to this day in different ways. There are not only cultural differences to be aware of but there are our students’ individual beliefs and experiences to consider.
In Japan, women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day while men give women chocolates on white day (March 14th). Not only that, there is the difference between 義理チョコ (Giri-choko) and 本命チョコ (Honmei-choko). Giri-choko is chocolate you give to friends, colleagues or even your boss, but Honmei-choko are chocolates you give to the person you love and they are usually more expensive chocolates. So, there is an element of friendship to Valentine’s Day that is absent from the concept of the day in other countries.
In China (Shanghai), there was also a Valentine’s Day prank that was reported around the world. A group of single people got together and bought every odd-numbered seat in a cinema on Valentine’s Day, so that couples couldn’t sit together for the latest romantic comedy.
It’s also a day where feelings run closer to the surface. Some people are in love, some people feel lonely, some people can feel hurt, and some people are independent and don’t let their relationship status define them. There are so many different emotions that people feel, is it likely that all your students will feel the same about Valentine’s Day?
Because of these reasons, a few years ago, I created an activity called Lucky Dip – Encourage speaking and give compliments. The idea was for students to share compliments and make everyone feel good about the day. A similar idea was introduced by Blair Turner at One Lesson at a Time.
Busy Teacher has written about 9 must-have activities for Valentine’s day.
One Lesson at a Time is a blog by Blair Turner. On her blog there are posters on ‘How to Give a Compliment’ and ‘Character Traits to Compliment.’
Teachervision has a lesson plan based around making Valentine’s Day cards.
Teach-nology has a lesson plan based around making a ‘Friendship Poster’ where students used Microsoft Word to create a poster.
This year, I am doing Hearts Bingo. I got the idea for Hearts Bingo from Busy Teacher and I decided to make my own Bingo card.
This is what I came up with.
Screenshot of the Hearts Bingo card.
Click on the image to download the PDF or follow the link below.
Download the Hearts Bingo template.
As with traditional Bingo, in the center there is a free square (the black heart).
The goal is for students to make a horizontal (left to right), vertical (top to bottom) or diagonal (corner to corner) line of five hearts. If a student makes a line of five hearts, they should shout ‘BINGO!’ This activity is suitable for both large and small classes.
Hearts Bingo is a low-prep activity but there are a few things that need to be done before entering the classroom. You will of course need to photocopy enough Bingo cards so there is enough for every student and you will also need to decide a list of 24 questions or challenges. Hearts Bingo is a very adaptable game and you can write the questions to target the interests of your students. Try the following topics/question ideas:
- Challenges e.g. Give a compliment to a classmate.
- Comprehension Check Questions e.g. Write a series of questions based on a reading or listening activity on the subject of Valentine’s Day.
- Opinions e.g. What do you think of Valentine’s Day pranks?
- Different Valentine’s Day traditions around the world e.g. Should we have Black Day in this country? (Black Day is the day for singles in South Korea)
- Choosing between Valentine’s Day traditions e.g. Would you rather give or receive chocolates on Valentine’s Day?
- Alternative Traditions e.g. If you could give a different gift on Valentine’s day, what would you give? Why? (With hypotheticals like this, I always think the sillier the answer, the better.)
Once you have created your questions, you are ready to play.
How to play
- Divide the class into small groups or teams
- Ask each team to think of a name for themselves
- Hand out a Hearts Bingo card to every student.
- Tell students to write the numbers from 1 to 24 in any order.
- Students in the same team, should have the same Bingo cards, so they should decide together where the numbers go.
- Write the numbers 1 to 24 on the board, so you can cross them off once they have been called. This will help students remember which numbers have been used and which they can still ask for.
- Nominate a team to choose the first number.
- Give them a short time to talk together. This teams choose their own spokesperson rather than rely on dominant students.
- Ask the team the question you assigned to that number.
- Allow the team time to answer.
- If the students answer the question correctly, everyone in the class can circle that number. It can also be circled on the board.
- If the students answer the question incorrectly, no one in the class can circle the number and the number should remain on the board.
- Allow the next team a few seconds to talk together and choose the next number.
- The first team who has circled five hearts in a line should shout ‘BINGO!’
Do you have any suggestions for using Hearts Bingo?
Please leave a comment if you have any ideas you would like to share or if you have any questions about the template.
Thanks for reading and take care!
You may also like to read:
Lucky Dip was a fast-moving PowerPoint activity where students collected compliments and shared them with their classmates. It was designed to encourage speaking and to make everyone feel good about themselves.
The Hearts Bingo template was designed with Microsoft Word 2016 and exported as PDF file. All images were designed with Microsoft PowerPoint 2016.
Microsoft® Office® is a copyrighted product of the Microsoft® corporation. All images are for educational purposes only.
The template is free to download and it is intended for educational purposes only.