Sneak peek: Self-love lessons and ideas for heritage speakers class!
My favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my heritage students is by teaching on the topic of self-love. Instead of focusing on romantic love, I like to switch up the vantage point a little bit, and have students write a love note to themselves! By helping students learn to love themselves first, the hope is that they will have healthier romantic relationships in the future by learning to advocate for themselves in the present. In the very least they will spend some time thinking about who they are as a person, the value they inherently have, and ways in which they can be proud of themselves and love themselves.
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I love diving into social-emotional issues in heritage Spanish class, because it creates a twofer. We can still practice reading and writing in Spanish, while at the same time learning how to be happier and healthier humans. I am really passionate about teaching the whole child and Valentine’s is the perfect chance to focus on self-love or even what healthy relationships could and should look like. Some students will have the luxury of witnessing healthy family relationships/love relationships at home. While other students may be trying to fix multiple generations of hurt and trauma and could use every exposure to learning about self-love in a safe space that life can possibly churn out.
Here are some practical ideas for how to incorporate self-love into your lessons.
Amor propio Journal Prompts
In the Year One curriculum, I included forty self-love prompts that are spread out through the year. Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time we can talk about self-love! Self-love is a lifestyle and needs to become normalized. In this long-ranging exercise, students spend time each week journaling about a self-love question.
Journaling is one of the easiest and healthiest coping mechanisms. It also happens to be one of the most overlooked in general and one of the more stigmatized coping mechanisms for males. It is much tougher for one to advocate for themselves when they do not first have their heads filled with awareness of their value and their thoughts unscrambled and properly organized.
Students are already processing so many data points around them, and the chaos and change inherent in a teenage experience are staggering. Students need help in developing life skills that can help them cope with the chaos, and give direction during a time in which each decision they make can literally affect their life’s trajectory.
First, the prompt has a positive message and then students are asked to reflect further:
I made this digital as well so there is the option to assign it as a weekly Google Slides assignment instead of doing it on paper. Hey! We live in a time where we do not always know for sure how instruction and class time will be given on a week-to-week basis! So, this just gives teachers the flexibility that has become an industry requirement of late.
You can grab your own copy of these self-love journal prompts here.
Amor propio Pear Deck
In the Year Three curriculum, around Valentine’s Day, students work on a self-love worksheet packet. Before we dive into the worksheets, I spark conversation with them using this Pear Deck. It’s available for free in my store, if you would like to download it. You can use it as a simple slideshow or have students respond digitally with the Pear Deck add-on.
Amor propio worksheets
After the Pear Deck introduction, these four worksheets give students a form of self-assessment on their self-love practices and mindset.
The first page has them draw a picture of themselves and then complete sentences that highlight their strengths and positive self-care practices. For example: “I am good at _____________,” and “To care for myself, I put limits on ________________.”
The second page is about Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of basic human needs. Students color in the different pyramid levels according to how well those needs are being met. Some of these factors may be out of the student’s control, but it is still important to draw attention to it and to raise awareness for them that they have a right to have these basic needs met.
The third page is a “yes or no” self-assessment regarding how well they care for themselves. Some of these questions dive into a variety of issues such as their self-confidence, comparison, guilt, self-compassion, nutrition, personal responsibility, and more.
The final page is space for students to write a letter to themselves. After their self-assessment in the prior pages, they write to themselves about how they plan to treat themselves this year. Specific examples are included so students have ideas for what they should write about.
These worksheets are available here, and there is also an English version available separately.
FVR Book Recommendation
This is an awesome graphic novel to add to your classroom library that sends a message of self-love and body-image positivity.
Five Love Languages
Another topic that I haven’t taught about before, but that would absolutely tie in perfectly with Valentine’s Day are the Five Love Languages. This online quiz assessment would be cool to incorporate, although I am only finding it available in English. The more students know themselves and how they like to give and receive love, the more successful their relationships are able to be. That goes for all levels of relationships, better family relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships.
I think school should help students feel set up for success in more than just college preparations. Students need to be guided towards success in their personal lives and life skills as a whole. The whole student goes to college, the whole student is a person, the whole student is more than their testing ability in the four pillar quadrants of reading and retention, science, math and English. Coping skills, love languages, self-advocacy, and self-love will help students become valuable members of society who contribute positively to the collective whole of our societal fabric.
I hope these resources and ideas help to inspire meaningful classroom discussion and growth in your classroom! What other ideas do you have for Valentine’s Day celebrations with students?
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