January 4, 2018
By Caitlin Hardeman

Lesson plan

Valentine's Day Differences

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Students will be able to conduct a short research project and compare and contrast the Valentine’s Day celebrations in two different countries.

(4 minutes)
  • Ask students to think about what comes to mind when they think of Valentine’s Day.
  • Collect student answers and record them on the board in a list for students to see.
  • Explain to students that many of the things they listed can be attributed to the culture of the country they live in. Different countries and regions of the world celebrate holidays in unique ways.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will be conducting a short research project about how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, and at the end of the lesson they will be comparing and contrasting the celebrations.
  • Model comparing what life is like as a child and as an adult.
  • Create a venn diagram to record the similarities and differences.
  • Explain to students that they will be doing the same type of task with a focus on Valentine’s Day celebrations, but they first must gather all the information by conducting research.
(20 minutes)
  • Display a copy of the Valentine’s Day Around the World worksheet.
  • Explain to students that instead of interviewing someone else about their culture, they will be accessing the internet or using books to find the information.
  • Answer the questions on the worksheet as a class based on the country in which you currently live. Invite students to contribute to the answers. (Tip: Explain that this counts as research since you all live in the country and are experts.)
  • Leave the answers visible to students for the rest of the lesson.
  • Group the students into partnerships.
  • Allow groups to choose a country to research.
  • Distribute a copy of the Valentine’s Day Around the World worksheet to each student.
  • Give students time to access information in order to answer the questions on the worksheet.
  • Instruct students to work together to research the information, but be clear that each student must record the answers on his or her own worksheet.
(10 minutes)
  • Instruct students to create a venn diagram on a blank piece of paper or in their writer’s notebooks.
  • Direct students to complete the venn diagram based on the information gathered while researching the two countries’ Valentine’s Day celebrations.


  • Be intentional in the partnerships created for the research portion of the lesson. Pair students with a buddy who will support and guide the other through the research.
  • Give students a list of websites to visit for the information.
  • Print out information from the internet for students to use if they are overwhelmed by gathering information from the computer.


  • Give the Informational Writing Graphic Organizer worksheet to advanced students. Instruct them to plan a five paragraph essay in response to the following prompt: Describe the differences between the two countries.
(2 minutes)
  • Collect the graphic organizers from students to determine student success in comparing and contrasting the researched information.
(4 minutes)
  • Scramble the partnerships, making sure that the two students in a new partnership researched different countries.
  • Give students two minutes to discuss the research they found about Valentine’s Day celebrations, focusing on similarities and differences.

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