Valentine's Day is today!
Like many holidays, Valentine's Day arose from a confluence of Christian and pagan themes. Originally it was the occasion of a pagan Roman rite called the Lupercalia, on which young men and women were matched by drawing lots. In the fifth century, the Church changed the emphasis of the festival by making it the commemoration of a Christian priest named Valentine, martyred on this day in 289. Nevertheless, the day's association with romantic love persisted.
This would be a great day for students to practice their skills in using poetic devices. Have students find examples of each type of figurative language below, and then write an original example using each device, each time employing the word love:
- Simile: Love is like an ocean rolling over me.
- Metaphor: Love is a tree with many branches.
- Personification: Love whispers in your ear.
- Rhyme: Love sure can stink/Anyone in it might be a fink.
- Alliteration: Love lightly leaps.
When they have finished, students can illustrate their examples, share them with the class, and post them around the room.
This ReadWriteThink interactive tool allows students to create poems about selected themes. For Valentine's Day, they can select a heart from the Celebrations theme.
This page includes definitions of several types of figurative language, including idioms, onomatopoeia, and alliteration.
This resource, from the Library of Congress, explores possible origins of Valentine's Day traditions. Related Library of Congress resources, such as music and photographs, are included.