Heart Mapping

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A heart is both the physical literal beating heart AND the emotional center of love, pain and other feelings.   In this activity, you’ll focus on the second kind, the heart you can’t see or touch. The heart that feels.

Georgia Heard, in her book Awakening the Heart, shares heart mapping as a technique for children to generate ideas for writing.  It’s even fun to do as a family.  Why not everyone create heart maps?  Each person shares at dinner on different nights.

Materials:
Big piece of paper
markers or crayons

Directions:
Draw a large heart around the border of the paper. Within that heart, you will create a map.  A map you ask?  Yes. A map.

Think about it.  Your heart holds so many places and memories.  Can you map that?  What would it look like?  Would there be a border?  Pictures?  Words?  A puzzle? A city?  Heart mapping design is entirely up to your imagination.  After all, it is your heart.

Questions to get started:

1.  What makes you happy?

2.  What do you love?

3.  What is the most fun you have ever had?

4.  What memory is your favorite?

5.  What things or objects are important to you?

(*optional 6.  What things in your heart are sad?  Make you cry?)

Draw, design, write, and share.

Once you have your heart map, use it to write.  Pick anything from your map to write.

P.. S.  All you “grown up” writers – this is a great writer’s block activity.

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Comments

  1. says

    I love the creativity behind this activity Melissa! As a very left-brain, black & white thinking kind of writer, I can see how useful this process will be for me as I write. Thanks for sharing it! :)

  2. says

    This is an awesome activity. I can really see how this would help spur creativity for kids. And how fun to keep these and look back on them later. I also feel like I definitely need to do a heart map for myself!

  3. says

    We recently moved across the country and my daughter turned three. Needless to say, she’s been rather emotional. I am going to do this with her in the hopes that we will be able to talk together about her emotions and so I can understand her a little better. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  4. Bill says

    I love this idea and am going to try this with my adult ESL students. We are studing parts of the human body but I want them to share what is important to them. Great Idea

  5. says

    Bill- What a great idea to use it with ESL students! I’ll have to store that away for when I go back to teaching.

    Melissa-We finally got enough focus to really talk about Sammi’s heart and her emotions. She loved the idea of “Where do you keep happy/angry/sad/afraid in your heart?” Then we were able to talk about when she has the different emotions. Some common themes emerged that shed a lot of light on what she’s experiencing right now. Very informative! And she keeps asking me, “Mommy, where do you keep happy in your heart?” So fun. Thanks for a great idea. It was just what we needed.

  6. says

    Very good text. I’ve found your site via Google and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your sites layout is really broken on the Kmelon browser. Would be cool if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

  7. says

    Melissa,

    This is such a wonderful activity. Thanks for sharing it again, as I missed it the first time around! I do a similar activity in therapy with kids…so effective at producing affective content! The “heart” is really where it’s at…and with Valentines Day around the corner…this is perfect!

    Wendy @Kidlutions

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