Life Map

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Group Size

Small Medium


Paper, and pencils, pens or crayons.

Set Up

Pass out materials, plan at least 20-40 min for participants to draw their maps, and at least 5 minutes for each participant to share and answer a couple questions.


This activity allows participants to share their life stories and serves as an ice breaker or getting to know you activity for groups that are newly formed or recently added new members. Each individual draws a "map" of their life starting from birth to the present using symbols to represent significant periods in their life. Many participants will say, "oh I can't draw!" and you can assure them quick stick figures, icons or words where necessary are fine - the point is the sharing not their drawing ability. Note: most people will underestimate how long it will take to share their story, so if you really only have 5 min per person, tell them they have 3 minutes to present, and use a time-keeper.


  • Draw the map using map symbols only (e.g. stop signs, do not enter, curves ahead, etc.) to represent significant periods in their life.
  • Create map collages using pictures cut from magazines or found online. Note: allow more time and additional materials for this option.
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