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Activity 5: Life Maps and Lifescapes

Activity 5: Life Maps and Lifescapes
Activity 5: Life Maps and Lifescapes

Activity time: 20 minutes

Introduce the activity, saying:

When we review our succession of life experiences, we see that observed together they develop a lived pathway. We can make a visual representation of this by connecting our meaningful people, times, and places to create a Life Map or Lifescape. Each person’s creation is unique and theirs to develop as a representation of their lived experiences. Imagine that you are viewing your life as if you are looking down from an airplane at eighteen thousand feet. From the air, we get a wide view of streets and places in the landscape below. On paper, you will create this airplane view of your life using words, places, and symbols, for example, stick figures or other simple drawings.

Distribute two sheets of blank paper to each person and two sheets of cover stock. Set out transparent tape. Invite participants to use their journal entries and list of influential people by decades as a guide and to begin planning their Life Map or Lifescape. Give these instructions:

  • Sketch your ideas in pencil on computer paper. Begin your life path at the top left of the page—with your birth.
  • Allow your experience pathway to wind from one happening/place to the next, meandering around the page toward the bottom right, the present time. Most likely your pathway has many curves.
  • Move to the second page when you need more paper.
  • Allow space for the future.
  • Once you figure out your overall idea, tape the two sheets of cover stock together (on the back side) to make the page shape you prefer, taping on either the long side or the shorter one. Feel free to create a different page arrangement or to use an additional piece of paper. Remember to leave plenty of room in your Life Map or Lifescape for your life to unfold along the way.
  • Finish it at home and bring it with you to our next workshop. You can always add more.

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