A Compass for Your Students: Life Maps

Author: Rich Atkinson

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Teachers, all of your students have been asked this question. Some of them have answered with excitement, and some with dread. What are things they should consider as they look for their career path? No one else has been created like them. You can help them flourish by challenging them to consider how they have been gifted with a particular assignment and life focus.

Life Map
  • Who are they?
  • What’s their personality like?
  • Where did they grow up?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their passions?
  • What experiences have shaped them? (Both highs and lows.)

One way to process their career path is to create a Life Map, a visual representation of their life and how moments and events have shaped them into who they were made to be. By sketching the snapshots of their life with colored pencils or colored markers, they can see the big picture of how they have been growing and developing.

Another version of a Life Map outlines a person’s life journey through the following four question outline:

  1. What is your History? Where did you grow up? Describe your family.
  2. Who are your Heroes? Who has been a role model for you? Your mom, dad, a teacher, someone else?
  3. What are your Heartbreaks? Have you experienced the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship? What have been some heartbreaks or dashed expectations you have experienced?
  4. What are your Hopes? What does the future look like for you?

Have students create a Life Map using the prompts from the link or the four questions in the above paragraph. For more ways to help students discover their career path, check out the Keirsey temperament test.

About the Author

Rich AtkinsonRich Atkinson began his writing career with a community paper in Ohio.

He has worked for a magazine. Travel assignments have taken him outside the country to Haiti and Guatemala. In the U.S., he has journeyed to Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee, and many other places for feature stories.

When not writing, Rich finds time to read and enjoys listening to authors discuss writing on podcasts and in YouTube videos.

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