Monday, March 31, 2014

Student Writing: Map of My Heart

Map of My Heart

     This is a writing activity I do with my high school creative writing class.  Almost every day, we start class with an invitation to write.  Before this activity, I invite them to write about what is most important to them in life. As always, we do a class share and some of the responses are serious, some funny, and some very practical.  But, my students are never boring. The writing ranges from "The Walking Dead" to chocolate to family.
     Next, I go through the children's book My Map Book by Sara Fanelli. It is adorable. My teenage students love this book and I have to thank my National Writing Project colleague, Dr. Kathy Holt for introducing it to me.  My Map Book has many maps a child would find important. A map of the neighborhood, a map of my room, a map of my tummy, and so on. After we go through the book, I return to the pages that cover the map of my heart.
     From that point, my students use Fanelli's book for inspiration and their invitation to write to create their own map of my heart. I have them compose a poem based on what would be included in their map and then we peer edit.  I give them a heart template and let them go.  The results are wonderful and I post them up in the classroom for all to see.