Who do you give Valentine's Day cards to? Do you usually give cards you bought at the store or make them yourself? Why?
Do you think gifts like Valentine's Day cards have extra meaning if you take the time to make them yourself? Why or why not?
According to the article, Valentines were especially important during the Civil War when people feared they would never see each other again? Do you think that is still true now that we have phones and the Internet? Why or why not?
According to the article, Esther Howland had several ideas that led to her success. First, her cards looked like traditional handmade cards. Second they were affordable. Third, she offered a variety of different designs. And fourth, she gave people the option of customizing the writing inside the card. Which of these factors do you think was most important to her success? Why?
- Prior to conducting this activity, gather a variety of art materials including colored paper, lace, ribbon and old magazines. If you wish, encourage students to bring additional supplies from home. You will also need glue, scissors and markers or crayons.
- Provide each student with a piece of plain white paper. Instruct students to think of someone special for whom they can make a handmade Valentine's Day card. Then give them time to brainstorm ideas and draft a model for their cards.
- Once students are ready to proceed, give each student a piece of thick paper, such as card stock or half of a Manila folder. Or, if you like, provide students with two large, blank index cards. Students can align the cards, cut holes along the left edge with a hole punch and tie the cards together with ribbons.
- Using the materials at hand, challenge each student to create a unique, handmade Valentine's Day card for someone special in their lives.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
If you love Valentine’s Day and you also love science, check out this Valentine’s Day Science Pinterest board from the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The site includes a variety of Valentine’s Day themed science activities, experiments, jokes, cards and more.
From festivals of ancient Rome to modern campaigns, the holiday hasn’t always been about roses and candy. Read this Smithsonian article to learn more.
For over a century, the Valentine’s Day treats, and the messages printed on them, have matched the tone and jargon of the times. Read this Smithsonian article to learn more about these tiny heart-shaped confections and the sweet messages they convey.
Are you sending warm and fuzzies to someone special this Valentine’s Day? If so, you can send a card. Or you can use your smartphone to call, text or order flowers. Communication is the key. And it always has been. Read this story from the National Museum of American History to see how people used to express love via telegraph and telephone lines.
The concept of love has inspired many artists to write songs, whether about newfound love or heartbreak. Explore those themes as you enjoy this Smithsonian Folkways collection, which features love-themed songs from around the world. Performers include Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly and Elizabeth Mitchell.
Today, we think of Valentine’s Day as a day of love. But that wasn’t always so. For at least a century, Valentine’s Day was used as an excuse to send mean, insulting cards. Read this Smithsonian article to learn more.