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?