Maps/Road Trip

Time Frame: 1 – 2 hours


  • To encourage imagination through creating a fun and safe place students can escape to in their minds.
  • To experiment with collage materials and discover the depth they can add to a piece of art.


  • Maps
  • Collage Materials: magazines, scrap booking paper, letters, words, stamps, stickers, cardstock, etc.
  • Digital Camera
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers, Oil Pastels, Colored Pencils, Sharpies


  1. Talk with students about trips.  There are road trips, plane or train trips, long trips, short trips, day trips.  Ask if they have any memories of a trip they took.  Next pose the question of “if you could go on any trip to a place, real or imaginary, where would you go and what would you do along the way and when you got there?”  Write down these thoughts.
  2. Create the background for your map.  You may want to use a real map, or just look at maps for inspiration and draw your own.  Does your map need a key?  If so, what will it include?
  3. Think about what your map will include.  Will there be a secret hiding place, a park filled with your favorite animals, is there water, mountains, etc.  Begin to draw or collage these items in.  Use your imagination to create the most amazing place you can go to.
  4. Once you have decided on all that will be included on your map, use the collage materials to add details to your map.
  5. Optional – use the digital camera to take a photo of yourself in different action poses.  Print out on the smallest setting, cut around your outline and incorporate yourself into your map.

Tweak It!

  • For teens, talk about the keys on maps.  Discuss what typically goes inside a key, and then discuss how you can create your own key with symbols that are special, secret or important to you rather than your typical key with parks and rivers.  This will add to the personal element of their map, making it more of a map of themselves and journies they would like to take.
  • For younger students, focus on something simple – like a zoo map or a secret island.  Have examples of zoo maps or other simple maps that are drawings of a local attraction.

Maps/Road Trip (This doesn’t actually have a title as of yet, but it’s a project inspired by maps and imaginary or real places – I did it with one of our male teens when I was a volunteer with AFL and it was a bit hit – I’m going to work it so it can go across the range of ages)

Teen Example by Betsey McLawhorn

“My Fun Place”
Younger Student Example by Betsey McLawhorn

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