Heart Mapping Gives Kids Writing Ideas

I LOVE heart mapping for Valentine’s Day but I also love it for pushing through a writing block. What to write about is a very common (and frustrating) challenge for young writers (and us old writers, too.)

Georgia Heard suggests heart mapping as a way to generate ideas for the challenge of what to write. Once kids create a heart map, they can use it for writing inspiration and ideas.

Above you’ll see the heart map I made as an example. (Modeling is very important — but make sure your kids know that you’re not suggesting exactly how they do their maps, only showing an example of your process and thinking. You want them to be authentic to their imaginations, not copy you.) Here’s what JJ came up with:

Heart Mapping Printable Directions

writing and drawing tools

Draw a large heart on your paper.

Within the heart, you can create spaces for things that are important to you – people, places, activities, and memories.

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?

6. What things in your heart are sad?  Make you cry?

7. What secrets are in your heart?

8. What are your favorite things, toys?

9. What activities do you love?

Draw, design, and write.

Once you have your heart map, keep it safe, and use it when you’re stuck for writing ideas.

Or you can frame it as a yearly memory of your life and what was in your heart at that time. Don’t forget to write the date on it!

Links to Heart Maps

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  1. says

    This is great! It’s funny, just this past weekend I was pinning some posts about heart maps. I had never heard of them before, but I came across the idea very recently. I really like this as an idea for writing inspiration :)

    • says

      oooh, have fun! The book from which I got the idea is probably 15 years old so that may be why you haven’t heard of it. Knowing your style — this will be right up your alley!

  2. Suzanne says

    Following the links was a fun reminder that this activity is ageless. I’m going to revisit my Georgia Heard gook she is a great resource. Heart mapping is also an activity that lends itself so well to colors and images when the heart is so full and words are still locked inside all those emotions.

  3. Kidlutions says

    Melissa, how did I not find this earlier? It took a year for me to come across it…on Pinterest, no doubt! I have loved doing this in therapy for years with kids! I was drawn to it immediately when I saw it, partcularly since it is a child’s work! Thanks for sharing! I’m repinning now! Wendy =)


  1. […] Heart Mapping – I spotted this idea and thought how great it could be if it were adapted to mother’s day. You could get the kids to heart map everything that comes to mind about their mums. This can include the child’s feelings towards their mother, her appearance, how she acts and so on. I bet you get some really funny and touching responses. You can then get the kids to make a cardboard frame to go with it. […]

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