Mapping My World + Community

Where am I? Where am I from? How does my home, neighborhood, city, state, or nation define me? Create a map that tells a personal story about who you are, where, why and how you feel belonging.

  1. Decide how you want to define your community for the purposes of this assignment (for example, you can focus on your home, your neighborhood, your city, your country, or any combination)
  2. Create a basic visual representation of the space. You are not necessarily aiming to produce an accurate geographical map, so feel free to get creative with it.
  3. Choose and mark 5 to 10 specific spaces or places of personal significance on your map.
  4. Select images that represent the places of personal significance you’ve chosen. These images could include images of your own or images from newspapers, websites, or other media.
  5. For each image, write a few sentences describing the location and explaining the significance of the place. You can either write these directly on the map, or create a slideshow or video that focuses on each of them one at a time. Think about questions like:
    • Why did you choose to highlight this place? What is its significance to you personally and/or to your community?
    • How does it relate to your identity?
    • Do you feel a sense of belonging or exclusion in this place? If so, what specifically creates that feeling?
    • How does this place fit into your broader community?
    • Bonus: You may also want to write a bit about what isn’t on the map and why
  1. Save your project as an image, pdf, slideshow, or video.

Not sure how to begin? Here are some options and ideas to help you get started….

There is no one “right” way to do this…All of these decisions are up to you, so feel free to pick and choose from these suggestions! Remember the goal here is to make a personal map rather than an accurate one, so get creative!

What area should I map?

Your map can represent an area as small as your home, or as big as the world. If you’re having trouble deciding, you could consider questions like:

  • Where do I go in a typical day/week/month?
  • Where are the people or activities I care about most?
  • Where have I had important life experiences?
  • Where do I feel most included or most excluded?

What format or medium can I use for my map?

  • Analog map (freehand draw a map of your own OR trace the outlines of an existing map OR print an existing map and draw directly on it OR create a collage style map using paper cutouts, photos, and other materials)
  • Digital map (use Google My Maps to create and mark up a custom map OR use shapes, images, photos, and text to digitally create a map in Kapwing, Powerpoint, or similar programs OR create some combination)
  • Take photos of your hand–drawn map or images and incorporate them into a digital video or slideshow make with Kapwing or a similar program

What can I include on my map?

  • Buildings & Institutions (Schools, churches, government offices, etc.)
  • Words & Images (Street names, store signs, billboards, street art, etc.)
  • Architecture & Design (walls, fences, gates, benches etc.)
  • Paths (Streets, sidewalks, freeways etc.)
  • Nature & Landscapes (Trees, parks, gardens, mountains, etc.)
  • Community spaces (Meeting places, places where you find specific people etc.),

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