My Heart is a Compass: A Storyline

written by Colleen Vallerga

The Storyline is based on the book My Heart is a Compass by Deborah Marcero.

Artwork by Andrea Morgan’s first grade students.

Grades: 1-3
Total Number of Pages:  20


PDF Storyline Outline – $40.00
The PDF will be emailed to you once the order is received.

Storyline Overview

As the story begins, an adventurous young girl begins a search for something that has never been found to bring to show and tell. Rose gathers her prized possessions around her for inspiration and starts thinking. She realizes that she needs to design her own maps to guide her as she searches for this rare treasure.

As readers of the book, the students begin to interact with the story. They explore Rose’s prized possessions and create a map of her face, cat, and heart. The readers identify themselves by sharing their own prized possessions and mapping their faces, families, hearts and pets.

As the story continues, Rose uses her imagination, with her heart as a compass, to design one map at a time and travel in search of her treasure. In each of Rose’s lands the readers find a blueprint of her imagination alive with her favorite possessions. The readers travel through her lands and connect with with the story as they follow her routes, make discoveries, and explore Rose’s imaginings though various drama/writing responses. Rose’s travels spark the readers’ imaginations in thought-provoking ways. Throughout the journey, the teacher weaves in a study of mapping skills, landforms, and landmarks. Readers practice mapping skills and create maps of their own.

After searching high and low, Rose completes her journey empty handed. She brings her maps for show and tell and shares her quest with her fellow students. From their responses, she realizes that her search was not in vain. Through her imaginative mapmaking, she has happened upon the special something no one has ever seen or heard of before. Her maps are the rare treasure she has been searching for.

As the book draws to a close, the students in Rose’s class as well as the readers are challenged with, “Where will you go?”

The students accept the challenge and create their own maps designed by their own imaginations. Maps include prized possessions, favorite animals, food, art, stories, treasures, etc. Map features, landforms, and landmarks are incorporated. Students compose a narrative tour of their map, telling the imaginative story of their unique land.

Students journey, together, through each land. Guided by the narrative tours, they explore and make discoveries along the way.

When the journey ends, guests are invited to a tour and celebration of the new lands.

Standards and Instruction Covered

Common Core Language Arts Standards

  • Reading Literature
  • Reading Informational Text
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Writing
  • Language

Social Science (Oregon Department of Education)


Next Generation Science Standards

  • Magnetic Science: Compass

Art Standards (Oregon Department of Education)

  • Visual Arts
  • Theater
  • Music