Heart Maps: Finding Common Ground
To have students identify the things that are important in their lives as a means of finding a “passion” or “passions” the class holds in common. Students will then identify causes that deal with an issue related to their shared passion. This will guide the teacher in selecting and promoting potential community partners for the Urban EdVenture Final Project.
Students will determine a cause that will capture the attention of most of the class.
Pencils, markers, 11x17 paper
Create your own “Heart Map” ahead of time. Be prepared to recreate it in class.
Debrief as a group or have students quietly reflect on the experience through writing about the following question: What causes and concerns do we, as a class, have in common?
Ask the students to brainstorm a list of the most important things in their life. It is helpful to have students do this before you share your list.
As the facilitator, provide your example. Draw a large heart on the board. Inside the heart, write five of the most important things to you on your list. Choose different types of things. Share the reason these things are important to you with the class. For example, music is on my map. Music is something that was important to my whole family. I sing and play the guitar. My parents were singers and musicians. My sister is a professional singer. Growing up, we sang at church and we sat around singing and writing songs. All of my best memories involve music.
Now, ask students to draw a heart on their paper.
Ask them to choose 5-8 of the most important items on their list and write these on their heart maps.
Then ask students to choose one or two of the items on their heart map and share with the class something they find heartbreaking about the topic. For instance, I’ve told you how important music is in my life, but it breaks my heart when I think about how school budgets are being cut by limiting music education. How expensive it is to learn to play an instrument is also heartbreaking. I can’t believe that there are children who don’t get the chance I got to experience music in my life.
Students circulate throughout the class to find someone with at least one thing on their heart maps in common. When they find a partner, they will discuss the other items on their list.
Each pair of students will now search for another pair that has at least one thing on their heart maps in common. When they find a partner pair, they will discuss the other items on their list.
Continue this pattern until students are in only 3-4 groups.
If there is time, debrief together with the reflection prompt: What causes and concerns do we have in common? Let students know that their work together will guide you in selecting and promoting potential community partners for the Urban EdVenture Final Project.