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:
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
- Printable heart and example template.
- 3rd grade heart mapping.
- Example of an adult heart map.
- 5th and 6th grade heart maps.
- Playful Learning’s heart maps.
- Two Writing Teachers writes about trying Writing Territories instead of heart mapping.
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Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!