February rings in a warm feeling. It instantly stirs the thought of love, of Valentine's Day celebration and other expressions of love. But then again as I think of February, these are my associations with this month. These are the thoughts I think of when I think of the "love" month.
As part of our family culture, we try to encourage using visible thinking routines to clarify our thoughts and our understanding of the world. I have started using mindmaps as a way to get a picture of what my kids know or would want to know about a particular topic. So, what better way to explore my children's understanding of "LOVE" than with a mindmap.
I began by asking them: What comes to your mind when you hear, read, or think about "love"?
What came out of the activity was a fascinating exploration of love and the absence of love as coming from my 7 and 8 year olds. Among the replies that left me in awe was Katie's take on "love means freedom".
After their mindmap, I decided to explore further what they associate with love by using the thinking routine "See, Hear and Feel". I used the following questions to prompt their thinking:
a) How do you "see" love?
b) How do you "hear" love?
c) How do you feel love?
Their replies varied from "cuddles and kisses, saying I love you or would you be my Valentine? to also include "having a warm feeling", poetry reading,compliments, and peace.
For us, activities like these give us a glimpse to our kids thoughts and I am sharing these with you in the hopes that you can also try mindmapping and thinking routines to connect with your child's understanding of the world.