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A Valentine’s Critique Game Your Students Will Love

Although February is the month of love, you may not be loving the level of engagement your students are showing around the 14th. If you’re looking for a fun way to get your students talking while embracing Valentine Fever, this critique game is for you!

This informal activity teaches students to analyze art in a way that feels more like play than work.

Try it out in your classroom to build a sense of community and introduce art criticism in a low-pressure way. Download your copy below!


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  • This game works well for students in grade three and up. However, if you’re trying it with the elementary age group, check out the special modifications below.
    • Review the steps of how to make a Valentine and have an anchor chart or other visual aid for students to reference.
    • Have students partner up, then list three things that they like about each other’s art.
    • Give them the option of using a familiar Valentine poem to make their critique, such as, “Roses are red, violets are blue. I like how you_____________. And how you _____________ too!”


  • This lesson could also provide a great cross-curricular component. You could partner up with a classroom teacher and have students complete the writing portion of the assignment in class.
  • If you don’t have artwork ready for critique, try this activity with students making Valentines for a famous painting they love.

Do you do anything for Valentine’s Day in your classroom? Tell us about it! 

Melissa Purtee


Melissa teaches at Apex High School in North Carolina and is the author of The Open Art Room. She’s passionate about supporting diversity, student choice, and facilitating authentic expression.