Using personal and literary cartography in the classroom is a way to combine and achieve many things in the classroom at once. It engages students’ creativity in a rigorous medium that can teach us about social and emotional learning, content area skills, character and plot arcs, as well as being a springboard for long form writing or projects, connections to different content area or interdisciplinary projects, and “self differentiates” based on the user. It is rare that a single teaching tool can cover so many bases, and be so fun and easy to use at the same time.
Just like the inner maps of the self, personal cartography maps are still a relatively unexplored space in schools, and there is much left to be explored and invented. Perhaps the most exciting and best part of these maps, is that they awaken a seemingly inborn instinct to explore, to chart, to adventure. It gives back to students that all important sense of autonomy, so often removed forcefully at school, to impose their own order and meaning on the universe, and not blindly accept everyone else's. It can make us less the passive passengers on this ship of life, and more the captains of our own destiny!