Combing Art and Knowledge: Informational Heart Maps

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an activity about reading passports. Since then, I’ve been on the look out for more activities that actively engage students in what they are reading about. Then, I came across another fabulous blog post, this time written by The Unquiet Librarian (I love the name). This post introduced me to the idea of ‘heart maps’. The post writes about the heart maps in the context of zines and garnering information from them, which might not necessarily fit with all class. But the overall concept of the heart maps can easily be used for a lot of different projects and is a good way to display a student’s knowledge on a subject.

Here are the instructions (from the blog post):


While it would be really easy to create your own template, here is the one featured in the blog post:


Essentially, a heart map can be created on any subject. All it needs is a center image and different sections surrounding that image. In the outer lying sections, students will write information corresponding to that subject. Kids can get creative with their artistic skills! It’s a great way to tie art and schoolwork in together, and will make learning about a certain subject fun and exciting.

Based off of what my classes use the library for, here are a number of units that could use the heart map (or any shape, really) as an instructional tool:

  • for any grade: using the heart map as a way to learn more about the student themselves. They could draw a picture of themselves or their family in the center, with important information about them around the edges.
  • 3rd graders: During their animal reports, these heart maps could work as an accompanying assignment. They would include a drawing of the animal in the center with facts and bits of information circling it.
  • 5th grades: While doing research with biographies, a heart map could be made to represent their person of study. A portrait in the center with information about their lives surrounding it.

That’s just what I love about projects like these – they can be adopted for a number of different things. They can be as simple or as complex as you like, as creative or boring. It’s there to be used as a tool for teaching!



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