Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day Unit Study

Valentine Mini Unit on Love
by Virginia Knowles


Have your children find several poems that convey love and affection. Copy them into your notebook. (This is a great idea for those who are easing into a Charlotte Mason style of education.) The Book of Virtues is a great place to start.
Write original poems to copy on to cards, using your very best handwriting.
Write an essay about love.
Write letters to family members and make sure you send them on time so they will get there on or before February 14.
Practice spelling words like: love, heart, Valentine, compassion, charity, kindness, cardiology (or any word with root "cardio", which means heart), etc.
How about a little educational game? Let your kids write a list of words using the letters in the phrase "Valentines Day" -- like "daily", "live", and so forth. You can't use a letter twice unless it appears in the phrase twice ("a", "e", "n"). You can't make a new word just by adding "s" to another word. This is obviously a spelling and vocabulary game, but here are some ideas to extend it into a GREAT math activity. Try writing the words in columns marked for one letter words (1 point each), two letter words (2 points each), three letter words (3 points each), on up to 8 letter words. Yes, there are at least four 8 letter words! To score, count the words in each column and multiply by the points for that length of word. Then add the column values together to get your total. (I dare you to beat my score of over 950! Let me know if you do.)


Find out who St. Valentine was, where he lived, what he believed, and why he died.
Research the history of the Valentine's Day card and how people celebrate it around the world.
In other cultures, the heart is not considered to be "the seat of emotions." It could be the kidneys or some other body part! Find out more about this! (But don't ask ME where, because I don't know! I just remember hearing about it because Bible translators have to take this into consideration when working in different places!)


Learn about the anatomy of the human heart and how you can keep it healthy. Those of us who have had children with heart defects have learned a lot from the web about this!
Study what kind of nutrition is best for the heart -- one low in saturated fats, cholesterol, etc. Plan a week's menu with heart healthy foods and talk about how cooking wholesome foods for your family is a great sign of love in action! (OK, so you can still have some chocolate on Valentine's Day!)
Sign yourself or your older children up for CPR classes. These are offered by the American Heart Association, local hospitals, the fire department and other organizations. My four oldest daughters all took a combination CPR / First Aid / Babysitting class from Florida Hospital. If you already have a CPR manual, REVIEW IT RIGHT NOW!


Count out candy hearts, combine groups of them to show addition, put them in rows and columns to teach multiplication, divvy them into piles to do division, and then eat them to demonstrate subtraction!
Calculate how much postage you will need to mail Valentine's cards, or how much you will save by sending e-mail and web cards!


Read 1 Corinthians 13 and answer the question, "What is love?"
Look up some of these Scriptures: Matthew 5:43-46; Matthew 26:36-40; John 3:16; John 13:34-35; John 14:23-24; John 15:9-17; Romans 5:6-8; Romans 8:35-39; Romans 12:9-13; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 8:1; Galatians 5:13-15; Ephesians 3:16-19; Ephesians 4:15-16; Philippians 2:1-4; Colossians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 3:1; 1 John 3:10-20; 1 John 4:7-21 (I know this looks like a lot, but it's only a small sample of New Testament passages with the word "love" in them. You can find more if you have Bible software on your computer. You can look them up first before deciding which ones to share with your children. You could pass out little slips of paper and have your children look them up and read them aloud for the family. They could each choose some short verses to copy, too.)
If you know any Christian songs about love, sing them together! There are some great ones on Steve Green's Hide 'Em in Your Heart Scripture memory song albums. Others are "Oh How He Loves You and Me" and "Oh How I Love Jesus."
Talk about the different kinds of love (romance, friendly kindness & affection, and unconditional "agape" love) and when it is appropriate to show each of these.
Ask your older children, "What is the best way to find a mate?" Compare how our culture views romance with what the Bible says about marriage. (See Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Peter 3:1-10, Titus 2:3-5.)
Find the lyrics of love songs -- good and bad! -- and discuss them with your children. Which lyrics you choose to discuss will depend on the maturity of your children and what they have already been exposed to. Hopefully, this will help them to learn discernment as you help them see what is wholesome and what is not!
Show your children your wedding photos, and talk about how you met your mate.


Make fancy valentines for relatives, friends, neighbors!
Bake cookies and bring them to a shut in.
Prepare a special dessert for Daddy, such as a decorated cake.
Make the felt Heart Full of Love.

    If you know of any great links for Valentine activities, please leave them in a comment below!

     This unit study originally appeared in my Hope Chest e-magazine in the late 1990's.  I'm still publishing the Hope Chest every month or so, and you can subscribe by sending any e-mail to:


  1. What wonderful ideas :) I especially like the math with candy hearts (you could use those for LA as well and make stories with the words on them!) and writing letters to people for Valentine's day! So fun :)

  2. Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas for a Valentine's unit study. I always loved doing unit studies. Thanks again for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week.


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