Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Heart Maps

I've been having students create heart maps ever since I read Georgia Heard's book Awakening The Heart in graduate school.

The idea is that students write briefly about what is close to their heart, with the most important things in the center.  The one thing that I changed though is that I think student choice for their heart is important. So the children pick either the Hallmark Valentine's Day heart, or an outline of a real heart for their heart map.

Background or Foreground?

My motivation has changed for using them however. The original intention is to use them throughout the year to help generate ideas for stories and poems. Now we use heart maps as an integral part of our values study. 
This is because Heart Maps don't do such a hot job reminding us of stories, and if they do they are very similar to the Lucy Calkins first unit of study where the main strategy for generating personal narrative writing is, "Think of a person, place, or thing that's important to you, and then list the small clear moments with that person, place, or thing." But they are a great conversation piece about what's important to us and why.

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