A Dozen Better Ways to Explore the Question “What is Love” in a Lesson


Okay so my first blog post mentioned I could think of a dozen better ways to explore the question “what is love?” than the Family Education Trust Leaflet so better put my money where my mouth is and here are some of the ways off the top of my head:

1. Show a huge range of pictures of people (eg. couples, families, models, famous people etc) and ask them “are they in love?”  Ask them how to they know?  Discuss as a class.  (Works well on a powerpoint- ensure your picture range is diverse and inclusive.)

2.  Give each student a piece of paper and ask them to come up with a definition of what love is.  Get them to share with their tables and agree a table definition of what love is.  Get each table to share their definition and agree a class definition of what love is. Students can create their own wallet cards of what love is to take home with them.

3.  Show a range of the “love is” cartoons.  Ask students to come up with their own list.  Then ask them to come up with a list of “love isn’t…”.  As a class decide the best senstences and create a class poster of what “love is and love isn’t”

4. Read out a range of scenarios and ask the class to discuss in pairs whether it is love or not.  (Eg. Boy wants girlfriend to have sex to show they love each other”,  Wife wants husband to make the dinner as she has a cold, etc etc.  Explore whether you would need more information to make the decision about whether its love or not.

5. Give the students the role of agony aunts/uncles.  Cut out a few letters sent into magazines eg “how will I know if he loves me” and get students to answer.

6.  Give students a copy of the many multichoice “is it love” questions This one is good and see if they can identify what the “right” answers are.  Discuss as a class.

7. Ask students to complete a “draw and write” activity of what love is- they can draw/write anything they know think feel about what love is.  Share as a class.

8. The love continuum- give students a list of words such as love at first sight, Friendship, Flirting, sexual attraction, infatuation, “in love”, Romance, obsession, nurturance, immature love, mature love, intimacy, attachment, passion, “true love” , lust and ask them to rate them in different orders such as “important to not important”.   Or in a linear fashion as love progresses. You can also explore the definitions.

9. Get students to brainstorm aspects of love- eg. commitment, trust, honesty etc. and get them to role play some of these with the class trying to guess which aspect of love it is.

10. Ask students to create a 10 point checklist of “what is love”.

11. Ask students to create a list of things they would look for in their ideal partner- ie. someone they are in love with.  In pairs compare lists.  Discuss as a class do whether the lists would be different based on your gender or sexual orientation? How? Why?  Ask students to share their lists (if they want to- the lists can remain personal if they prefer). As a class agree a list of the top ten things to look for in an ideal partner.  Individually students then need to put that list in order of importance for them and identify the top three most important things for them they will look for in an ideal partner.  Discuss whether this list will change as they get older.

12. Use examples from popular culture eg. soap operas/celebrities to analyse some relationships  and discuss whether they  are in love.  Ask students to come up with good role models for “loving relationships”.

And there you go- there are a dozen ways you could explore the question “What is Love” in a lesson without resorting to a dry dull leaflet that alienates most of your learners and you only have 1 of between the hundreds of students you teach :).   I am sure there are many other even better ways to explore the question “what is love” with students so if you have any good ones please share!

And now I really must go and eat as my husband has just brought me a lovely homecooked lunch at my desk. Now that is love. 😀

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