The Shape of My Heart

A few years ago, at our annual Fall CNYSL conference, I went to a presentation on using the Super 3 with primary students. One of the suggestions that I just loved involved reading them a book called The Shape of My Heart and then having students fill in heart cutouts with the things that filled their hearts. The presenter did this at the beginning of the year to help her get to know her students better and to frontload her knowledge of their interests so she could better prepare research topics around their interests. We didn’t have that book in our library and when it came time to complete my order that year, I’d already forgotten about the activity and so I didn’t order the book. Eventually, I forgot about the idea entirely until I was flipping through my conference notebook at the beginning of the year, sketching out our curriculum map for the first quarter.

This year, I decided I was finally going to try it-no excuses! I grabbed a copy of the book from my local library, my clerk made a bunch of heart shapes out of plain copy paper and I made my own heart as an example.

Side note: If you are a fan of erasable pens and markers like I am, make sure you either don’t use them for any examples you want to laminate or DON’T LAMINATE THINGS YOU’VE MADE WITH THEM! Apparently, what actually erases the ink (at least with the ones I use) is the heat from the friction of rubbing the rubber eraser on the ink. So, when you use a hot laminating process like we do, you make the ink disappear. Not that this ever happened to me…

The actual lesson was pretty straightforward. I read them the book, we talked about what it means for something to fill your heart and how both big things and little things can fill our hearts. I showed them my example and then, they went to their assigned table seats and completed their own hearts. My clerk and I collected them and noted their class code on the back. She’s started displaying them (they’re going to be great to have out for Open House!) and after we’ve had them up for a bit we’ll give them back to the teachers to send home with their kiddos.

The kids seemed to really enjoy this lesson and couldn’t wait to share the kinds of things that were filling up their hearts! I loved talking to them about their hearts and getting to know them all a little better-definitely a lesson I’ll be repeating next year! Better go add the book to my fall order before I forget…

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