3 Valentine’s Day (ish) Activities for Special Ed High School and Transition

life skills teacherspayteachers teaching experience Feb 05, 2024

It’s early February and everything is red and pink, Reese cups are now in the shape of hearts, and you basically trip over love-themed stuffed animals whenever you walk into a store.  Valentine’s day is coming!  

If you are looking for some Valentine’s Day-themed activities for your high school or  transition-age classroom, check out my three suggestions below.  

 For the record, I never recall any of my students having a budget/desire to throw a Valentine’s Day party, wanting to order overpriced flowers for delivery or buy and arrange a bouquet themselves, or saving up to buy real jewelry for a significant other.  Those are lovely ideas, but weren’t applicable to my student population.  If we did any Valentine’s day-related activities, the goal was to practice relevant, applicable skills first and foremost! 

If your students are like mine, below are ideas:

 

Social Relationships: Consent and Communication

 

 

While Valentine’s Day is all about showing love to others, what if the other person doesn’t want it? Being surrounded by unwelcome offerings of love can be uncomfortable for anyone.  Boundaries are healthy!

This short, graphics based video by Amaze covers a general overview of consent and communication.  It includes different people giving and denying consent and the website includes other information and resources on the topic.  

This can be a great ‘last 5 minutes of class’ activity to round out an otherwise normal school day (because not every schedule allows for a full day to celebrate a love-based holiday) or a jumping off point for other social and relationship conversations.  Some other Amaze videos of interest include, Consent Explained , and Understanding Sexual Consent and the Law .  Since these other two videos explicitly address sexual consent, confirm appropriateness with administration and/or families before showing these in class.   

 

Skills Practiced/Addressed: 

  • Communication of wants and needs
  • Choice making
  • Stopping a behavior

 

Choice Making, Budgeting, Planning, and More: Differentiated Valentine’s Day Resource

If you teach a variety of student abilities and want to address life skills with a Valentines-y flair, a differentiated resource is the answer!  

There is NO dollar over, shopping for deals on chocolates in a sales ad, or construction paper crafts in this resource.   Those activities have their place, but current high school and transition students need something more and different! 

This Valentine’s Day Activity engages students of various levels in: 

  • Choosing WHO they want to spend time with (friends, family, significant other, or alone)
  • MAKING DECISIONS based on a budget
  • PREPARING two plans and choosing the best one
  • ESTIMATING time and/or money (option to set time and budget limits)
  • CHOOSING transportation and clothes based on their chosen activity
  • COMMUNICATING the plan to others
  • PLANNING appropriate conversation topics
  • And so much more!  

This resource can be used in so many ways that it’s hard to put into words!   

Maybe the best part about this resource, it’s highly customizable!  All the resources have the same look, making it super easy to differentiate for each student in class.  And, materials can easily be used as homework, too. 

Skills Practiced: 

  • Decision making
  • Budgeting
  • Time management
  • Thinking of others
  • Transportation
  • Matching clothes to activity
  • Reflecting
  • Communication
  • Flexibility

 

Communication: Sending ECards

Whether peers want to send Valentine’s Day cards to a loved one or a Galentine’s Day card to a friend or staff member, communication is what sending cards is all about!  If a student creates a FREE Canva account, they can download different graphics and send them via their own email (which likely already has email addresses saved). 

 This is also a great back-up if original plans are canceled due to weather (because winter) or students just don’t really care about Valentine’s Day, because there is no limit to the type or number of free cards students could create or send! 

Skills Practiced:  

  • Thinking of others wants
  • Typing
  • Internet navigation
  • Writing (depending on card choice)
  • Basic digital skills (downloading and attaching)
  • Email skills

 



Let’s be honest, those small Valentine’s Day cards that come in the thin box with pictures of small animals and cartoons are better left on store shelves.  Forgo the traditional Valentine’s day activities or craft (that will most likely end up in the trash by the end of the day) and engage in more age appropriate activities!

 

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