There are different origin stories and legends that have arisen surrounding the man Valentine and the genesis of Valentine’s Day. As with many other holidays celebrated over great time and distances, facts get skewed, political or religious groups stress certain aspects, practices change, beginnings are forgotten, and new traditions are forged. While facts and myths have been woven together about the origin or purpose of the holiday, we can still celebrate the message of love and friendship with our students.
Use a storyboard to retell the story of Saint Valentine or another story for the holiday. For younger students, read a story and have the students create an illustrated summary with six parts, or with a Beginning, Middle, and End structure. Older students can research different versions of Saint Valentine or historical accounts, and let them create a short narrative of their findings.
Emperor Claudius II of Rome wanted to grow his army, but many men did not want to volunteer and leave their wives and children. So, he passed a law prohibiting marriage.
Many young lovers thought this law was unjust! Valentine, a Christian priest in Rome, believed marriage was a holy commitment above any human law.
Valentine continued to perform wedding rituals in secret.
Alas! Valentine was discovered. Roman guards arrested him for breaking the emperor's law. He was condemned to death and sent to prison.
People sent him messages saying that they agreed with him. While in prison, the jailer's daughter talked with him and learned from him. They became friends.
Before he was beheaded on February 14th, he had signed a message for his friend saying, "From your Valentine". Today, we send similar messages and tokens of love to our friends and loved ones on Valentine's Day.
Grade Level --- N/A ---
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
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