Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major puts me at the back of a church on a snowy December Saturday, trembling as I hold my father’s hand. He pats my arm and says, “Easy now,” as we start toward the altar.
When a song I once labored to learn on my guitar comes on the radio it transports me to Oregon State’s campus, and I see a swirl of fall color as I walk from class with my black guitar case bumping my leg in a bouncing rhythm. I’m twenty again and the year suddenly returns to me in images, feelings, and songs.
Like most of the poems Carl wrote in eighth grade, “The Bowl” was prompted by a posting on his heart map. Between Hans’s paws and potato picking techniques, using just enough words to capture the memory, he’d written breaking the red bowl. When he fleshed out the phrase, it became a poem about family, heritage, love, and regret.
How do we get students to “ache with caring” about their writing instead of mechanically stringing words together? The the question author Georgia Heard asks in her new book: Heart Maps:Helping Students Create and Craft Authentic Writing. She says we spend a lot of time teaching the craft of writing but we also need to devote time to helping students write with purpose and meaning.
In today's podcast we speak with Georgia about what heart maps are and why they're so helpful for children as writers. Be sure to check out her website, www.georgiaheard.com.