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Neighborhood Memory Map

Kathy G. Short, 2012

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Neighborhood Memory Maps

Our memories connect us to the experiences that are significant in our lives and shape how we think about ourselves and the world. Mapping these memories provides a vehicle for exploring the inscape of our cultural and personal memories. Listening to others tell their stories allows us to travel the landscapes of the world. Memory connects us to the values and events that define our cultural identities and creates bridges that connect us to each other. We learn about and value the funds of knowledge from our families and communities that we each bring to the classroom. This knowledge provides the potential for these funds of knowledge to be integrated into our relationships and the curriculum as resources for learning.

  1. Teacher -- Draw your own neighborhood as a child in front of your students, and, as you draw, tell stories about growing up in that neighborhood.
  2. Ask another teacher or adult in the room to briefly share their neighborhood memory map so that children see more than one way to draw their maps.
  3. Ask children to draw a map of a neighborhood that is significant to them. Their neighborhood can be large or small, outdoors or indoors – their backyard, a room in their house, a city block or subdivision, a small town, a beach or forest area, etc.
  4. Ask children to label the stories on their maps – the places where something happened that is a memory. Young children can dictate the labels. Some children may need to share their maps orally with a partner to discover their stories before they are ready to create labels.
  5. Encourage children to share their stories in pairs and then add other labels to their maps.
  6. Children can choose one story from their maps to develop into a complete oral or written story to share publically with others in a book, family newsletter, video, etc.
  7. Children can also talk about similarities and differences in their memories and maps across their classroom community.

Resources:           My Map Book by Sara Fanelli (HarperCollins, 1995)

Mapmaking with Children by David Sobel (Heinemann, 1998).

NMMap1.jpg NMMap2.jpg

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