Creating a Life Map
Even though you might enjoy talking about yourself, you may be clueless as to what important life events you should include in an autobiography. A life map is a graphic organizer that uses pictures to represent major life events. You can use this map to inspire you before you write an autobiographical assignment, or you can simply create one to spark conversation with your friends. There are many examples and templates for life maps online, but here are some tips on their creation. Other words for life maps are mind mapping or life roadmaps.
Write down and brainstorm about your important life events. Scholastic’s life map checklist has several major life event questions you can answer. If you’re in a group of people, such as a classroom situation, interview other students with the life map checklist. This can be an interactive process as you talk to others and see what the possibilities are.
These key moments and events can be seen as milestones, significant life changes, life goals, low points you may have already experienced, and key events in your lifetime that you can expect. Think of these life maps as a visual timeline of your life, so any ideas can be used as long as you have a starting point. Goal setting steps can also be used in this step as you think of what you would like to achieve for the first time and how to get there as a beginner.
2. Choose Photos
Determine what pictures you’ll use to represent your life’s major events. Once you have determined which questions you’re going to answer from the life map checklist, sketch small pictures on a scratch sheet of paper that represent each event. For example, if the day you were born is a significant event, you might draw a picture of a swaddled newborn or a pregnant woman. If the day you started kindergarten was important, draw a picture of a schoolhouse or a chalkboard.
3. Make a Draft
Make a first draft. On a blank sheet of paper, draw the major life events you’re going to include in your life map in chronological order. Draw arrows between the events so that viewers can easily tell in what order the events happened. While this creative process does require some project planning, it will act as your own life map and map of your life experiences to share your life story to others.
4. Gather Materials
Gather a large poster board, and using markers or colored pencils, complete your life map. Draw the pictures that represent your life in chronological order, just as you did in your first draft. Gather a large poster board, and using markers or colored pencils, complete your life map. Draw the pictures that represent your life in chronological order, just as you did in your first draft.
5. Display the Product
Display and share your life map. Tell your friends or fellow students why you chose the particular life events you did. Explain what your life map tells about you.
Another way to create a life map is to scour magazines for images that you think represent your life or anything that evokes feelings. Cut out those magazine images and paste them on a poster or bulletin board. With your group of friends, ask one another questions about each others' life maps. Do you see any patterns in your life map? What do you need to do to reach your life map’s goals? What feelings does your life map evoke? How does your placement of the images on the life map show what is important to you?
Students working on a life map could also include pictures from magazines instead of drawing. They should find pictures that represent major life events.
<!--StartFragment-->I am a current senior studying at the University of Missouri - Columbia with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sociology. I have interests in photojournalism, documentary journalism and design fields. <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment-->