You know I’ve been spending time with pre-adolescents when a book titled I Love You More than Moldy Ham sets me chortling in the bookstore aisle. The book, targeted at primary grade students, tells the story of a young monster who trudges through swampland to gather ingredients for a special dinner for his mom. It is full of verse like
Hack my way through brush and briar
Watch my step through muck and mire
Squelchy thing squirms past my knee—
Prime part of my recipe!
I love you more than mucky feet—
More than squelchy things to eat.
For me the joy of the book is the small monster’s perspective on what would delight. Pump slugs? Prune juice? Chicken teeth and bloated ticks? Absolutely!
Imagine how much fun would it be to have a Valentine’s Day writing assignment writing love notes or planning Valentine’s treats from varied perspectives. What would a cow plan for her love? A skunk? A zombie? (Have you read Zombies in Love?) If you want to tie to a science lesson, ask for valentines from the perspective of anything being studied—with a required factual explanation about why those would be love-inducing strategies. What would a hydrogen atom want in a valentine? A plant cell? A water drop?
If your school “does” Valentine’s Day, why not add some flexible thinking into the mix—and maybe a new way to view your content?