Journey Map – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Journey Map

Create a map of your life! Identify key life moments, design symbols to illustrate these events, and create a life map to showcase the journey. This activity encourages self-actualization and creativity.

Materials Required

  • Large piece of paper to draw on
  • Writing paper
  • Construction Paper
  • Markers or colored pencils
  • Pen or pencil


  1. Choose three prompts from the list below. Write a short statement using the sentence starters as beginning text. Use descriptive words. Statements don’t need to be long (approximately 5-7 sentences).
    • Fun Times: “One of the funniest moments of my life was...”
    • On Top of the World: “The time in my life when I felt most proud of myself was...”
    • Comfort Zone: “Even though I was nervous, I faced my fear and...”
    • Overcoming Obstacles: “The biggest challenge of my life was when...”
    • Missing You: “The person I miss the most is...”
  2. Create a symbol that represents each of the three events. Be creative. Use the construction paper, scissors, and markers to create the symbols. For example, an airplane represents a special trip or a heart represents a first crush.
  3. Once the symbols are created, make a map that highlights these three life moments. The map can look like a treasure map, a city map, a road map, a subway map, etc. Think of a theme for your life and create a map that fits that theme.
  4. Reflect on the map and your interesting life!

Additional Tips

Try this add-on activity:

  • Add a “crossroads” section to the map. Was there a time when you had to make a big choice or decision? Was there a decision that you made that significantly affected the rest of your life? What would’ve happened had you made a different decision? Include a symbol for a “crossroads” section of your life and add it to the map.

Links to Creativity

Much of the early research on creativity began with a focus on creativity as a way to pursue self-actualization, which is a way of describing how we become our best and reach our potential. By looking back and celebrating our milestones and crossroads, we become aware of how creative and courageous we were in overcoming our challenges. This activity will encourage self-actualization by celebrating our creativity, while also asking us to creatively express our journey.

Supporting research includes:

Maslow, A. H. (1968). Creativity in self-actualizing people. In Toward a psychology of being, 135-145. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Maslow, A. H. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking. Maslow, A. (1994). Religions, values and peak experiences. New York: Penguin Books.

Maslow, A. H. (1974). Creativity in self-actualizing people. In T. M. Covin (Ed.), Readings in Human Development: A Humanistic Approach (pp. 107-117). New York: MSS Information Corporation.

Rogers, C. (1959). Toward a theory of creativity. In H. H. Anderson (Ed.), Creativity and its cultivation (pp. 69-82). New York: Harper.

Rogers, C. R. (1995). On becoming a person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Original work published in 1961).

Runco, M. A., Ebersole, P., & Mraz, W. (1991). Creativity and self-actualization. Journal of Social Behavior & Personality, 6(5), 161-167.


This activity was written by Austin Greene, Teaching Artist, and contributed by DreamYard. For more information and resources see

Journey Map

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