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Grade: Middle

#3363. Making a Life Map

Reading/Writing, level: Middle
Posted Thu Feb 10 06:19:11 PST 2005 by Lindsay Bigham (
Liberty Middle School, Liberty, South Carolina
Materials Required: 8 1/2 by 11 white paper, colored pencils or markers, example of a life map, life map checklist
Activity Time: 2 days
Concepts Taught: Pre-Writing for an Autobiography


1. Make your own life map and make copies for students to use as an example when creating their life maps.
2. Write several "interview questions" on individual slips of paper (the opening activity of this lesson has the students interviewing you). Question examples include: "Where were you born? Where did you go to kindergarten?" etc.

Day One

1. As students enter the classroom, give several of them a slip of paper with an interview question on it. Explain to the class that they will be interviewing you. Call on the students who have the interview questions. Allow the student to read the question out loud, then provide a response.

2. Explain to the class that they will be writing an autobiography. Introduce or review the definition of an autobiography (a story about someone's life written by that very person). Then inform the students that in order to begin their autobiography, they will be making life maps which will serve as their pre-writing.

3. Next, explain to the class that the life map will be made up of a series of pictures. Explain that the pictures are symbols for milestones in their lives. As an example, draw a graduation cap to represent graduating from high school or college. Draw a set of bells to represent a wedding.

4. Give out the copies of your life map and the life map checklist. Go over the checklist together. Explain to the students that nothing has to be written on their life map. Instead, the milestones in their life (including goals for the future)will be represented with pictures. Then, model the process for making the life map by allowing students to look at the copy you gave out (the life map should start with a picture in one corner of the paper, with an arrow pointing to the next major life event or milestone). Remind students that the your answers to the interview questions are displayed on your life map. Point out that the items listed on the life map checklists are the items that are present on the actual life map.

The life map checklist should include the following items:

1. Where you were born
2. Where you first lived
3. Where you went to kindergarten
4. Where you went to middle school
5. Where you are going to go to high school
6. Where you want to go to college
7. The career you want to have after college
8. A Major event after college (ex. getting married)
9. A Major event after college #2 (ex. having children)

5. Have students clear their desks. Distribute paper, and markers or colored pencils. Allow students to begin working on their life maps.

Day Two

1. Review concept from the previous day.
2. Allow students to continue working on their life maps.
3. Allow several students to share their life maps with the class.

Were students able to complete all of the pictures for the items listed on the life map checklist?