En la Clase: Teaching about Love


Photo taken by Hyonin Min
Courtesy of Flickr CC

Since this week is Valentine’s Day (as I’m sure any teacher is more than aware of as they prepare for classrooms to be bombarded with glitter, hearts and chocolate) I thought I’d share some books that could help generate some classroom conversation around the topic of love, and not just romantic love, but love for friends, family, community, or self.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we teach about emotions, and specifically love.  Emotions are a seemingly basic part of our human experience, but how much time do we really spend discussing these things, helping our students understand their emotions, or deal with situations or experiences that bring about difficult emotional responses?  If we look at our common core, standardized test based curriculum, there doesn’t seem to be much space for topics like this, yet they seem like such essential parts of an education that prepares our students to be successful both in and outside of the classroom.  Literature is one way to begin to encourage these kinds of conversations with our students.  When I think back to my own k-12 education, rarely did any of the books we read touch on a topic such as love, or if they did, there was never any explicit conversation about the role of love in the story, its meaning or significance. Below I’ve shared various books that engage with the idea of love, while also touching on Latin@ themes in one way or another.  We’ve featured all of them here, so I’ve linked to each book’s Educator’s Guide to help you find ways to integrate it into your lesson plans.  I’ve also tried to provide general descriptions of the ways in which love is engaged in the book. 

For older students, you may want to consider using “Love is. . .An Advanced English Lesson Plan.”  Created for ESL students, I think it would be engaging and interesting for all students.

Many of the books above are most appropriate for upper elementary students or older.  For younger children, check out these posts with great suggestions for multicultural children’s literature for Valentine’s Day:

If you have any other book suggestions, please share them in the comments below!

This Friday is also International Book Giving Day!! All the more reason to get excited about February 14th! You can show some love by giving away a book that day!

Here are three suggestions from the official website on how to celebrate:

1. Give a Book to a Friend or Relative.
Celebrate International Book Giving Day by giving a child a new, used or borrowed book.

2. Leave a Book in a Waiting Room or Lobby.
Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book, nothing controversial.

3. Donate a Book.
Wrap up a box of children’s books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second hand store, library, children’s hospital, or shelter. Alternatively, donate your books to an organization working internationally to get books in the hands of kids, such as Books for Africa.

For more information click here to go to the official website.

You can also download a full size poster version of the picture below here (it’s available in a number of languages, including Spanish).



8 thoughts on “En la Clase: Teaching about Love

    • Thanks for sharing! I love Pat Mora’s books, but I’m not familiar with “Dizzy in your Eyes.” I’m going to look for it at our library today. It sounds wonderful, and perfect for February!

    • That you so much for the kind words! I love all of the books we included, while very different, they’re such beautiful reading. It’s always nice to know that the work we’re doing is useful. I really like the ESL lesson, if I were still in the classroom I’d definitely be adapting it for my students. I hope your friend finds it helpful!

  1. Pingback: En la Clase: Love, Community, & Poetry | Vamos a Leer

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