Body Mapping

On February 9th (the 7th if we’re good :-) ), we will begin our body mapping unit. This product is in lieu of a traditional 7-10 page personal narrative (memoir, essay, etc). This page will serve as a curated repository of resources, notes and information for this product.

(download pdf version here)


 Just as words are powerful, images may be even more powerful.  This product requires you to tell a personal narrative through that same power of images.  Remember the images we looked at in class: the emotions, thoughts, feelings they evoked.  The stories they told all through a “simple” image.  Also recall that why you didn’t necessarily know the “entire” story behind the picture, you could get, at minimum, a sense of the story.

This product asks you to do the same.  To create an image of yourself that tells a story with minimal words.  The images shown in class (and linked on the course website) are amazing for several reasons:

Pictures and images are inherently limited to one experience; a literal micro-second of time.

  1. Yet, within that micro-second, a much larger story is conveyed.
  2. Images evoke emotional connections to the viewer instantaneously.
  3. Images, along with Math, are universal languages.  Across the world, that same image is “readable” by others without much need of a translator.

In lieu of the traditional personal narrative, that is typically 7-10 pages long, you will be using images to create your personal narrative.  The “written” component will be in a 500 word reflection you write at the end (posted to your blog and dropped to me).  Also, think about “Lost Banana” technique.  You need to add that level of description and detail to your body map.


I will provide you with paper and scissors so that you may work in pairs to trace and cut out your image.  You will have the weekend to create your map and write your 500 word response.

The one image that had words was the image with the word “Facebook.”  Your body map may have just one word.  That’s it.  One, carefully chosen, thoughtfully presented word.  Think about the power that this one word will have for your narrative.  As Spiderman’s grandfather tells us, “with great power comes great responsibility.”  You must choose your word with just as much responsibility and care.

When constructing your map, you may use any means that you’d like to create it.  Think about the story you want to tell.  What would be the best way?  Collage, string, clay, photos, drawings?  (Nota Bene:  If you use images that are not your own, please provide the MLA citation on the back of the map.)

We will be having a Gallery Walk in class on Tuesday, February 14th  to share your maps and to help you narrow down your abstract noun.  I would suggest that you think about the length of time that is conveyed in a photo– a micro-second.  This is the moment of time that your body map must also represent.


  • Completed Body Map with only one (1) word on the front.
  • A 500 word response to your body map dropped to me.
  • A page on your blog with an image of your body map and your 500 word response.

Below are a list of media and techniques we used to help us define and limit our micro-minute of time…

Ben Breedlove’s Christmas Day Story (part 1 and part 2)