There are some classroom lessons that are worth repeating year to year. Ms Meaghan Roach, of the Social Studies department, has a favorite among several favorites. It’s a lesson plan that involves research, oral presentations and valentines.
February is a special month. It is a month that celebrates presidents and Black History. And it is the month that encourages any of us to recognize our Valentines. With that in mind, Ms Roach asks her sophomore students to research a president and a significant person in Black culture. Students create Power Points and give oral presentations on their selected figures. Then the creativity is given wide range as students create valentines that are decorated with pictures of their subjects and significant quotes from their presentations. Ms Roach sees the valentine making as a “fun way to incorporate course content and celebrate the February holidays.”
The chance to be creative is also extended to Roach’s AP Classes. She explains that “members of the AP Psychology class were tasked with creating Valentines with nods to the key contributors to the field of Psychology and their theories.” Especially fun this year was the students’ valentines that paid homage to Pavlov’s dogs and conditioning and Freud’s subconscious fears. The AP History class selected historic figures from the Progressive era and created valentines with their pictures and notable quotes. What impressed Ms Roach was the clever “Valentine assembly line that students suggested, vis-à-vis Henry Ford.”
Valentines never go out of fashion. They always get our attention. An old English verse, often found on Valentines reads: “Many are the stars I see, but in my eye no star likes thee.” How wonderful that a lesson plan of making a valentine enables students to pay tribute to so many “stars” in our history and culture.