In his book “The 5 Love Languages,” Dr. Gary Chapman categorizes the five different ways people express love. Since not everyone expresses love in the same way, often a person seeks to show love to another person in the way they like love expressed to them, rather than showing love in the love language of the other person. Classroom activities based on love languages can help you demonstrate to your students how to better show and receive expressions of love.
For some, love is best expressed through encouraging words. Hand out a sheet with the names of every student in the class. With each name, ask, “How can we encourage this person today?”, then have the class come up with positive statements. Jot down each comment. After the session, type up the positive comments and provide each student with a sheet of the comments made about him.
Time is a key love language for many people. If you have a student who needs lots of quality time, plan activities that allow the child to express this need. Go around the class and ask each child their favorite way they spend time with their loved ones, whether it's spending a quiet evening together reading a book or playing a video game. Plan field trips to museums, the library or points of interest, depending upon the interests of your students, and emphasize one-on-one time with each one.
Most people like receiving gifts, but for some, gifts are their primary love language. Nothing pleases them more than getting or giving gifts. Explain this to your students and invite participation by going around the room and letting each child describe what the perfect gift for them would be.
Maybe your love language is serving. You enjoy doing things for others. For you, this is not something you do, it is something you are. If you have students who like to serve, provide activities in which they can serve in the classroom. Ask them to help another student who is having problems with schoolwork. Have students who like to serve take attendance, create a bulletin board display or lead the class in things like saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Not everyone likes to be touched or hugged indiscriminately. For others, touching -- including hugs -- is vital to their health and well-being because touch is their primary love language. Talk about touch as the primary love language for some people. Clarify this has nothing to do with sexual expression, but the need for some to be touched in order for them to feel you care. Have students try to identify those with touch as a primary language in the class, among their friends and in their families. Have them create a chart of those with this love language. Have them show their work to the class and explain how they came to their conclusions. Discuss what students can do, and not do — such as no forced touch -- for those with this primary love language.
- hugs image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com