Ethos Education

Valentine’s Day: Everybody Loves Valentine’s Day

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Assembly Objective: 

  • Does Valentine’s Day make you feel loved or lonely? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching about being sensitive to the feelings of others, however we might feel ourselves.

Film: 

  • Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros, 2010, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The values of Respect and Tolerance presuppose an understanding and appreciation of different beliefs and attitudes held by different people, which includes their feelings about themselves. This assembly helps pupils to be sensitive to other people’s feelings.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Create the atmosphere (mood setter)

  • Play one of the following songs as students and staff enters the hall:
  • Write About Love by Belle and Sebastian (2010). Available on the album Write About Love (Rough Trade, 2010).
  • Everybody in Love by JLS (2009). Available on the album JLS (Sony, 2009).
  • Valentine by the Delays (2006). Available on the album You See Colours (Rough Trade, 2006).

Valentine’s Day – How much do you really know? (quiz)

Download the How Much PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Either ask for two volunteers to play this game, or play the two halves of the room against each other, taking answers from a randomly chosen member of each half of the audience. If yours is a co-ed school, this could be an appropriate topic to play boys versus girls.
    • For each question, ask one volunteer or team to guess the percentage, and then ask the other volunteer or team to decide if the answer is higher or lower than the first guess. Alternate which team goes first to keep things fair.
    • Here are the questions:
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Question 1: What percentage of women said that the Valentine’s Day gift they would most treasure was a love letter or poem? [click to reveal answer: 78%].
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Question 2: What percentage of annual flower sales occur on or around Valentine’s Day? [click to reveal answer: 32%].
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Question 3: What percentage of Valentine’s Day flowers are purchased by men? [click to reveal answer: 73%].
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Question 4: What percentage of flowers sold on Valentine’s Day are red roses? [click to reveal: 43%].
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Question 5: 77% of men who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day do so for their wife or girlfriend. What is the equivalent percentage for women who buy flowers? [click to reveal: 44%]
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Question 6: What percentage of pet owners give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets? [click to reveal: 3% – and 0% of pets reciprocate. There’s ingratitude for you.]
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Question 7: What percentage of Valentine’s Day cards are humorous? [click to reveal: 25%. Of those who receive them 28% won’t get the joke and 11% of men sending these cards will end up sleeping on the sofa].

Everybody loves… (something to think about)

  • Explain that you want to find out the most loved person or thing in the country. Explain that you are going to read out a list of people and things, and that students should sit down to express their approval, or remain standing if they do not like the person or thing in question. See which of the items on the list has the most universal approval. Ask all the students to stand up each time before reading the next item on the list. If you want, you could ask some of those who remain standing what it is that they don’t like about the person or thing.
  • Here is a list of (possibly) well-liked people and things:
    • Chocolate
    • Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)
    • Chips
    • Keira Knightly
    • The 2016 Olympics
    • David Tennant
    • Valentine’s Day
  • Explain that today’s assembly is going to be about Valentine’s Day – a day which isn’t as universally popular as some people sometimes think.

Valentine’s Day: The Facts (something to think about)

Download the Valentine Facts PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • Play the PowerPoint with an appropriate soundtrack. We recommend Write About Love by Belle and Sebastian (see Create the atmosphere, above). The PowerPoint is set up to automatically transition through the slides. If you wish to move through at a quicker rate, the PowerPoint will advance to the next slide with each left-mouse-click.
  • Here are the facts revealed on the PowerPoint:
  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Valentine’s Day: the facts.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • £42.3 million was spent on 21.5 million Valentine’s cards in the UK in 2010.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • £151 million was spent on flowers for Valentine’s day.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • £384 million was spent on Valentine’s chocolates.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • The production of Valentine’s gifts has been banned in Iran in 2011.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • The celebration of Valentine’s Day was banned in England from 1653 to 1660.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Valentine’s Day was introduced to Japan in 1936. In Japan it is regarded as a day primarily for women to declare their feelings for men.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Valentine’s Day is mentioned in the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Teachers receive the most Valentine’s cards: more than children, mothers, spouses or sweethearts. [click] Probably because all teachers are so lovely.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros, 2010, certificate 12).
    • Start time:      0.03.33 (in chapter 1 of the DVD)
    • End time:        0.04.30
    • Clip length:     57 seconds
  • The clip begins with Reed (Ashton Kutcher) coming out of a house and shouting, ‘She said yes!’. It ends with a man in a car shouting ‘…you freaking moron!’. Please note that the man in the car also uses the phrase ‘get your head out of your ass’. If you feel this is inappropriate for your students, don’t use the film clip.
  • In the clip we see a young man celebrating the fact that his girlfriend has agreed to marry him, putting forward the view that everyone feels romantic on Valentine’s Day, and getting shouted at by an irate (and far-from-romantic) motorist.

TALK

Download the Valentines Day PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

Scripted Talk

[The second paragraph in this talk is written with the assumption that the talk is being used on Valentine’s Day itself. If that is not the case, you can either amend it or omit it altogether.]

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • It’s really easy to get excited on Valentine’s Day. It’s a day full of love and romance, and a day of flowers and chocolate, a day of anonymous cards, of bashful confessions of affection or flamboyant gestures of love.
    • I don’t know how your Valentine’s Day is going, whether you’ve got lots of cards, just one – but the one you were hoping for – or whether you haven’t had any. The Post Office van delivering all my cards has obviously broken down this year, so they haven’t all arrived yet. I think that’s the only explanation that makes sense to me.
    • We’re going to watch a film clip from the film Valentine’s Day. In this clip Reed, a florist, has just asked his girlfriend to marry him. See if you can work out her reply from his response.
    • Play the following clip from Valentine’s Day:
      • Start time:       0.03.33 (in chapter 1 of the DVD)
      • End time:        0.04.30
      • Clip length:     57 seconds
    • The clip begins with Reed (Ashton Kutcher) coming out of a house and shouting, ‘She said yes!’. It ends with a man in a car shouting ‘…you freaking moron!’. Please note that the man in the car also uses the phrase ‘get your head out of your ass’. If you feel this is inappropriate for your students, don’t use the film clip.
    • If you are unable to show the clip, say the following: ‘In the film Valentine’s Day, Ashton Kutcher’s character, Reed proposes to his girlfriend and is ecstatic when she says yes. He tells his co-worker that he doesn’t even have to hide how happily love-struck he is because it’s Valentine’s Day. No one will think he’s been sappy because everyone is romantic on Valentine’s Day. Then he pulls out into traffic and gets shouted at by a far-from romantic driver in another car.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • And there’s the problem with Valentine’s Day. While for many it’s a special day of love, for others it’s just another day, with all the irritations and annoyances of normal life. For still other people, Valentine’s Day is a day of particular torment; a day to be reminded that they are on their own. There’s nothing wrong with being single, and many single people are perfectly happy to be single. But many other people find it a real struggle, particularly when everybody around them seems to be celebrating with their perfect Valentine sweethearts.
    • For every person who spends Valentine’s Day rejoicing in the blossoming of new love, there is another one who is sad and lonely and miserable. We shouldn’t make the mistake that Reed made, thinking that everybody would be feeling just the same as him about Valentine’s Day.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • The Bible gives this advice:
    • Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:15-16, New International Version.
    • All of us need to be more aware of other people’s feelings. When someone is sad – particular if they are sad because they are lonely on Valentine’s Day – the last thing they want is some love-struck loon swanning around bleating about how lovely love is. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be happy, but you should be sensitive to the feelings of other people. Mourn with those who mourn means we should offer consolation to anyone who needs a bit of consoling.
    • In the same way, if your Valentine’s Day isn’t turning out the way you would want it to, that doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be miserable. We should be glad that things are working out for some people, even if it isn’t working out for us just at the moment. Rejoice with those who rejoice means that we shouldn’t be too eager to thrust our disappointment into somebody else’s happiness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Valentine’s Day can be like putting normal life under a magnifying glass, but it’s a good reminder for us that every day of the year is a day for showing love to the people around us. Not necessarily the cards-and-flowers-and-chocolates type of love, but the love that shares in each other’s joys and sorrows, offering consolation and celebration to everyone and being sensitive to everyone’s feelings. Even if the Post Office lorry has broken down again.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Valentines Day PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Easy to get excited on Valentine’s Day.
      • Love and romance.
      • Flowers and chocolate.
      • Anonymous cards.
      • Bashful confessions.
      • Flamboyant gestures of love.
      • Don’t know how your Valentine’s Day is going.
      • Got lots of cards.
      • Only one card (but the one you wanted).
      • No cards.
      • The Post Office van delivering all of my cards must have broken down.
    • Introduce clip from Valentine’s Day:
      • Reed has just asked his girlfriend to marry him.
      • See if you can work out her reply.
      • Play the clip.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • The problem with Valentine’s Day:
      • For many it’s a special day of love.
      • For others it’s just another day.
      • For others it’s a day of torment.
      • There’s nothing wrong with being single, but many people find being single a struggle – particularly when everyone around them seems to be with someone.
      • Don’t make the same mistake Reed makes, thinking everyone feels the same about Valentine’s Day.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:15-16, New International Version.
    • We need to be more aware of other people’s feelings.
      • Mourn with those who mourn means consoling those who need consolation.
      • Rejoice with those who rejoice means not expecting everyone to be miserable just because we are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Valentine’s Day is like putting normal life under a magnifying glass.
    • Every day is a day for showing love.
    • Not necessarily romantic love, but the love that shares joys and sorrows with everyone – even if the Post Office lorry has broken down again.

Photo Copyright for How Much PowerPoint and Valentine Facts PowerPoint: all images from iStockphoto.com

Photo Copyright for Valentine’s Day PowerPoint: Slide 1 MMIX New Line Productions / Slide 2 image of Ashton Kutcher Ron Batzdorff MMIX New Line Productions, image of girl sitting down iStockphoto.com / Slide 3 and 4 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you for the gift of love. Whether we are in a relationship, want to be in a relationship or are happy not to be in one, help us to remember that your love is more than just boy meets girl. Help us to share your love with everyone around us and to be sensitive to anyone whose experience of Valentine’s Day is different to ours. Amen.

Reflection

  • How easy do you find it to think about how other people might feel, particularly those people whose experience of life is very different to yours? Do you naturally accommodate their feelings, or do you just expect them to see everything the same way that you do? What could you do to become more sensitive and sympathetic to the feelings of others?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros, 2010, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. How Much PowerPoint.
  3. Valentine Facts PowerPoint.
  4. Valentines Day PowerPoint.
  5. A copy of one of the suggested songs for playing as students enter the assembly hall.

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