People see love in the simplest things like the scent of rain, the taste of burek, or the sound of ‘new’ words in their student’s answer…Well, the latter is probably more about teachers. Anyway, love is in the air. And so is Valentine’s Day. Approaching. Fast.
If love is the last thing on your agenda because a) you believe in everything anti-Valentine or you find it a tricky topic to raise with your teen students; b) it’s not planned in the curriculum – no time for love; c) you have limited resources – no money for worksheets; or any other d, e, f, g and h reasons, this post may help you plan a Valentine’s Day activity with zero preparation and resources to get your students to think and speak about love in a poetic form based on any text in their coursebook. With a creative twist.
Ask your students to think what found poetry means and where they can find poetry.
Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage).
Show a few examples of found poetry (e.g. see this pin board on Pinterest). Miguel from On the Same Page has a fantastic collection of ‘found’ stories in his post Rewriting Established Texts: The Day They Got Creative, where he describes how you can use this technique in an EFL classroom.
Ask your students to choose any text from their coursebook (or offer a particular text). This can be any text about anything – we can find love in any genre.
As I’ve planned to discuss brands with my students, my Valentine’s Day activity will be built around the text about Starbucks.
(Source: New Headway, Upper-Intermediate, Third Edition)
Now, the task is to find a poem.
There are two types of poems that are very easy to write and do not require any special poetic talent:
1 – Acrostic
In Acrostic poems, the first letters of each line are aligned vertically to form a word.
Ask your students to read the text and circle the words that may be used for the acrostic the subject of which is LOVE.
Get your students to pick the words they’d like to use in their poem and add a couple of words to each line. For example, they may pick Latte for ‘l’, offered for ‘0’, vision for ‘v’ and every for ‘e’.
Another easy poem to write is a poem based on the five senses – looks like, sounds like, smells like, tastes like and feels like.
Ask your students to read the text and circle the words/phrases that may be used in their poem. Pair them up and ask to share their ideas and write a simple poem.
Love looks like a coffee house
Love sounds like New York
Love smells like roasted coffee beans
Love tastes like Raspberry Mocha Chip Frappuccino
Love feels like a comfortable place
They can elaborate their poem further, rearrange the lines and add more words to make the poem flow more smoothly:
This activity will not take much time but will give an excellent opportunity for your students to read the text again and again, and revise or learn new words. Lovingly.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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If you have more resources (time and money) for love, try this Scavenger Hunt activity VALENTINE’S DAY: SCAVENGER HUNT