Using Mindmaps and Thinking Routine to Explore the Concept of Love

February 03, 2016 Lana Jelenjev

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.




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1 comment

  • Jessica

    Feb 14, 2016

    I think it’s important to talk with our children about Love because they see the world differently than we do. I love this activity and think it will be great to use when my daughter is older.

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