Introduction (Five minutes)

  • Draw a large heart on the chart paper with a marker.
  • Explain to your students that they will write meaningful topics and keep these topics in their desks for the entire year to refer back to when they can’t think of things to write about.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (Ten minutes)

  • Model the process of thinking of ideas to put in your writing heart. Display examples of adding family members, pets, and beloved things to do such as read, run, and travel.
  • Explain that once half of the writing heart is packed in, it can be decorated.
  • Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (Five minutes)

  • Invite a few students to share what they would add to their writing hearts.
  • Ask them to write their ideas on the chart.
  • Explain to the students that if they don’t know how to spell a word, they can draw a picture and attempt to sound out the word using their letter sounds.
  • Tell your students that the purpose is to pack the entire heart so that they always have ideas to write about when they get “stuck” later in the year.
  • Independent Working Time (15 minutes)

  • Direct your students to begin writing in their writing hearts.
  • Extend


  • Enrichment: Direct your students to write finish sentences. For example, they could write I love going to the beach with my sister instead of beach .
  • Support: Leave puny whiteboards on your students’ desks. When you rotate around, if they ask you to help with a word, write the word on the whiteboard. Give these students access to adequate magazines to cut and paste pictures that inspire them onto their writing hearts.
  • Review

    Assessment (Five minutes)

  • Rotate around the room, and observe the students.
  • Ask students who came up with creative ideas to stand and share, as it may help fighting students.
  • Review and Closing (Ten minutes)

  • Invite the rest of your students to stand and share their hearts in front of the class.
  • Comment on their ideas, and make connections inbetween students who picked similar people, places, activities, and things.
  • In closing, explain to your students that these writing hearts will prove to be a good resource to help them come up with writing ideas via the year.
  • worksheet

    Heart Labyrinth

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