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The Math, Science, And History Of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is more than a time to pass out candy and cards. It’s a day that inspires engineering, a walk through ancient history, and mathematical techniques. Use the following resources to help your students fall in love with all things Valentine's Day! 

Grades: 6-12
Valentine's Day has become synonymous with brightly wrapped chocolate hearts. In this video segment from KQED’s QUEST, chocolate makers explain the elaborate engineering and chemistry behind this tasty treat.
 
Grades: 6-12
Valentine’s Day is a mixture of a roman holiday, a saint’s backstory, and the marketing prowess of the card and candy industry.
Use this video from the History Channel to explore the holiday's origins. 
 

For more Valentine’s Day history, check out the History Channel’s Valentine’s Day page

Grades: 5-9
In this PBS LearningMedia lesson, determine how many valentines will be exchanged depending on the number of students in each class. This interactive exercise focuses on examining data to find a pattern and extending the pattern until a rule can be realized, taking math out of the classroom and into the real world.
 
Grades: 5-12
No holiday besides Christmas is more associated with cards than Valentine’s Day. But how did the celebration of Valentine’s Day become so entangled with cards? The relationship, it turns out, is older than the printing press itself and its roots even take us back to ancient Rome! Use this article from scrapbook.com to explore the history of Valentine's Day cards. 
 
Grades: 2-6
Valentine's Day is a day for sweethearts, celebrated every year on February 14. It is the day that you show your friend or loved one that you care. Have your students read about its history, including past and current traditions, in this US Department of State article
 
Grades: K-5
This Discovery Education segment explains the history of various Valentine's Day symbols and traditions that have become an integral part of modern Valentine's Day celebrations. 
Need help accessing your free Discovery Education account? Contact us: education@gpb.org. 
 
Grades: 6-12
Ladybugs spend most of their lives alone, gorging themselves on aphids. But every winter they take to the wind, soaring over cities and fields to assemble for a ladybug bash. In these huge gatherings, they'll do more than hibernate—it's their best chance to find a mate. Discover how lady bugs fall in love with this PBS LearningMedia lesson
 
Grades: 2-5
This Full-Time Kid activity teaches you how to make your own candy hearts for Valentine's Day! These delicious candies double as the perfect, customizable gift and card for family and friends.
 
Do you have a Valentine's Day lesson that you and your students love? Share it with us in comments section! 
Mary Anne Lane

Mary Anne serves as an education specialist at GPB, where she develops content and resources for educators and students. A native Georgian, Mary Anne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia earning her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, with concentrations in Language Arts and Social Studies.... more