Monday, July 20, 2015

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” - William Wordsworth

Hello Everyone!
This post is a joyful and emotional one for me.  Mostly because as I was creating this little writing unit, it brought back some incredible memories and  brought some joy for the days to come.  I was working on setting up some pieces for my writers workshop and decided to beef up my motivational lessons for the kids.  Part of this motivation includes the well known "Map of the Heart," a beautiful idea from Georgia Heard.  I've been doing the map of the heart thing for years, but I always thought something was missing. I needed the kids to be able to make more of a connection. Using a mentor text like "Treasures of the Heart" by Alice Ann Miller helps to clarify the heart part! I have used this book for other things before, but it fits so perfectly with the motivation and inspiration with which I want to cover my kids. The book is about a little boy who has many treasures hidden under his bed. His mom wants to clean, but this sweet boy wants to share the wonder of the treasures of his heart with his mom instead. 
Many of you know that my boys are older and are out of the house.  Many of you also know that I don't throw anything away.  Well, as a connector for me, I went upstairs to my oldest son's room. (Yes, it still looks the same as the day he left for college!) I dug around a bit, with tears rolling down my face,(cause I just get sappy sometimes) and found a few of the treasures from his childhood. He even had a little jar with some things tucked in, just like the boy in the story. Such sweet memories. I added a few more things to the jar and knew I had my own inspiration. 

Every kid has his/her own treasures, heart treasures, things that are so meaningful. I want to motivate my kids to write about those treasures. I don't want just their favorite food, or their pet. I want them to feel safe in sharing the treasures of their heart.

Giving kids time to develop an idea bank is something I want to spend a lot of time on this coming year. I want to set them up for success, and never have the chance to say, "I can't think of anything to write about!" 

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
We will try our best, Mr. Wordsworth

So, that's how my new map of the heart student page came to be. It is included in my mini unit!

The picture right above shows another fun motivator. The idea came from another great mentor text.  Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk. There is a mirror down in the bottom of the can!!  Kids need to see themselves as authors!! 

If you think you might want to try this you can CLICK here for the 15 page mini unit!

The unit includes other book titles to use, some other writing idea pages, and pics of some motivators. 
I am getting excited to start this new school year!!  How about you??
Next up?  Some more writing.  This time, a new small moment mini unit!

Till next time!
Have a joyfilled week!