Monday, April 23, 2012

Heart Maps!

The last two weeks have gone by so quickly! It's amazing how time passes by so quickly when you're busy doing something you love! After the first three days, I've pretty much been teaching every day and am gaining a lot of hands-on experiences. I'm so lucky to be able to do my practicum with such supportive staff and amazing students!

Today I'd like to share a lesson I taught as part of my poetry unit which I got a lot of good reviews on! They are called heart maps, adapted from the idea from Georgia Heard's book, Awakening the Heart which has loads of useful ideas on how to teach poetry. The heart map is a great way for students to get in touch with their emotions and realize what makes life meaningful for them. It's also a useful tool for students to go back to during the school year when they can't think of topics to write about.

I introduced the activity by telling the students that they will be making maps of their hearts. None of the students had ever worked on this activity before, and seemed very curious. I told them that their heart maps would represent different things that they care about, memories that have stayed with them, qualities that make them special or unique, or experiences which have shaped how they are today. 

I also gave them the following list of guiding questions to help them come up with ideas:

  • What was the most fun you've ever had?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What people/objects/activities are important to you?
  • What has really affected your heart?
  • What secrets have you kept in your heart?
  • What are some experiences or central events that you will never forget?

I was so amazed and inspired by the finished work that the students handed in! They are now all put up on the bulletin board in the hallway, and I've been asked to teach this lesson in another class as well :)


  1. Hi Satya:) Love this idea. I did a much simpler one with my grade ones last year where they "mapped" what was in their heart. They drew things like their family or their favourite food.
    Lovely bulletain board. Happy last week:)

    1. Thanks Jessie!
      Yeah the thing I love about heart mapping is that it can pretty much be used in any grade level! And the kids seem to love it too! I'm looking forward to teaching it to the little ones next year as well :) Hope your TOCing is going well :D

  2. Hi Sa-chan!! Mariko from Japan. I hope you remember me we played together when you were a little child. Your dad told me about your blog and I've read your whole article. How amazing to see you all grown up and found your dream and put your effort to make your dream come true. I can tell how hard you work on your projects and also enjoy doing it. You're doing so great I'm really proud of you. I also love the design of your blog. It is so cute!! I'm looking forward to see your next post. When your dad was in Japan my hobby was studying English now I'm really into paper crafting. If you are interested in that go check my YouTube I made a mini album for a little boy the other day. Well, I'm sure you'll be a wonderful teacher and hope to see you here in Japan someday!!

    1. Hi Mariko-san! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! My practicum ends tomorrow but it's been going really great! I got my evaluation done today and received lots of positive comments. I feel like I've finally found my true path.

      I've been missing Japan a lot though and I'm looking forward to going back next year to do my next practicum at an international school :) Six years of not going back has simply been too long, and I'm excited to finally be able to go back! I

      I would love to have a look at your Youtube video! I like doing crafts myself, so I'm definitely interested in seeing your creations :)

  3. Love those heart maps! I'm your newest follower - thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  4. Love it! I am your newest follower:) I would love if you would stop by and visit me...

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm following you back now :) Love your polka dot design :D