*****THIS UNIT IS SHORTER THAN OUR TYPICAL UNITS! We designed this unit as an alternative to traditional Valentine’s Day activities. We are always looking for ways to connect beloved thematic topics to global themes. We made this shorter because we believe there are other topics we want to spend time teaching in February, but we wanted to provide enough activities for one day.
The topics that we cover include:
Sociology: Did you know that February is Heart Health Awareness month? This is an important time for everyone to raise awareness about doing everything we can to have a healthy heart. Since Valentine’s Day is an exciting time and hearts are everywhere, let’s talk about our actual hearts that we should all take care of! We also wanted to expose students to ways to raise awareness (about any topic, really) and how to do that well.
Economics: Valentine’s day usually means FLOWERS! Lots and lots of flowers. Where do they come from? There are many developing countries that produce a good amount of the flowers that we will use for Valentine’s day. The unfortunate reality is that many famers and workers on these farms are producing all the flowers, but are not reaping the benefits. Many are paid poorly, have little to no vacation, and are often working in dangerous conditions. People that buy flowers usually experience and intense rise in costs. While there area few different reasons for this, a lot of this can be traced back to unfair policies that prevent the farmers from getting paid more.
History: For history, we will take a look at how conversation hearts became the most popular candy for Valentine’s Day. Conversation hearts are over 100 years old. The sayings used to be longer because the candy used to be bigger and shaped like a seashell. Over the years, it became shaped like a heart and the phrases were shortened. The inventors eventually started to ask the public for ideas for new phrases. They rely on pop culture for a lot of ideas- which means that the phrases can become outdated. Your students will always remember this when they see a box of hearts!