Workshop 3: Map Building & Drawing

Description: Students are introduced to the various ways we define place through mapping, how and why maps are used, and the narratives behind them. They will examine their neighborhood on geographical, social, and personal levels with their own hand drawn maps. A wall-sized map of their neighborhood will be installed for the remainder of the workshops, which the students will utilize to share ideas with one another and begin to develop a narrative of their neighborhood (an essential step in pre-production). Time: 4 hours

Workshop Breakdown

1. Introduction to Mapping

Present Mapping PowerPoint* and discuss the various forms of maps: 3-dimensional, representational, geographical, typographical, et al.

2. Personal Maps

Students are instructed to draw a map of their neighborhood and identify locations meaningful to them. Students will first construct a map of their community, and map ten places of interest using the questionnaire (link goes here). Next, students will take a sheet of acetate, to place over their maps and describe why they chose each point of interest.

3. Map Presentations

Students present their maps to the class, identifying personal connections to individual "hotspots". Students are encouraged to comment on each other's selections: What makes a location the best place for a hamburger? What is the history behind a particular street or alley?

4. Wall Sized Map & Hotspots

Students are introduced to the concept of "hotspots," which is a person(s), place, or object of interest, that collectively form the narrative of their neighborhood. Students are then encouraged to add their favorite hotspots to the wall-sized map. From this point, students are encouraged to pin notes, photos and articles, to begin their research. This will serve as a hub for discussion and development for "hotspots" throughout the workshops. Collateral could include menus from restaurants, articles on events or history of particular places, or photos taken by students.

Neighborhood Examples:

Materials Needed

Laptop, Projector, Paper, Writing & Drawing Materials, Acetate, Student handouts (Printed Map of Neighborhood)

Instructor Resources

Mapping PPT (various types of maps), Wall-sized map of neighborhood & push pins, Personal Map Brainstorming Questions handout


This workshop meets the following education standards: CCCS - Speaking & Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration (1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2), Grades 9 - 12; CCCS - Speaking & Listening - Presentation & Knowledge of Ideas (5), Grades 9 - 12; Visual Arts Content Standards - 5. 0 Connections, Relationships, Applications


If time permits, students should be encouraged to take their maps and develop them further until presented in class. Perhaps they share them with their family and friends for advice.


Workshop 4: Mapping


Workshop 2: Meet Me