Heart Mapping & Writing Territories

I’ve been having my students map their hearts, to help them generate ideas for writing, when they’re stuck, for as long as I’ve been teaching. However, last week when I was at the TCRWP’s Summer Institute for the Teaching of Writing, the words “writing territories” seemed to be mentioned everywhere. I was familiar with this term, but hadn’t heard too many people talk about writing territories at T.C. prior to last week.

If you’re unfamiliar with writing territories, here’s the skinny:

  • In the words of Don Murray (paraphrased): Most of us have two or three topics that we write about over and over again.
  • Writing territories should be listed in a broad way and can include names of people or places that are important to a person.
  • Once a person knows their territories, they can create a web with the territory in the center and then create branches off of the center. Those branches will later become entries in the person’s writer’s notebook.

I’m thinking about abandoning heart mapping in September and trying out writing territories. I’m just trying to think of a cutesy way to have the kids create their territories page so that the activity is memorable for them. (Not just for the sake of hanging them outside like I did last year.)

If you’ve done an artsy writing territories activity, then PLEASE leave a comment on this post. Thank you!