Creating Neighborhood Maps

Adapted from Out of Eden Learn’s Curriculum, Core Learning Journey 1: The Present and the Local

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For this activity, you will explore your own relationship to a place and share a map of your local area through your eyes. Begin by exploring journalist Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk, a multiyear journey that follows the migration pathways of our ancient human ancestors. Paul set off on this journey by foot in January, 2013.


Sketch a map of your neighborhood or local area, as you see it through your eyes. This map does not have to be “accurate” or similar to other maps that exist. You can draw this map on paper and then scan it or photograph it to upload to the site. Or, you can draw it electronically – for example, through Doodle Buddy or PaintBox.

Write a true story to go with your map. If you like, you can record yourself telling a story and upload an audio file instead of writing it down. Your story could involve: 

  • The whole map or one special place that is featured on your map. 

  • A memory or something that happened to you when you were younger in one of the places on your map.

  • A typical day in your life that features places marked on your map. 

  • A story about your neighborhood that you have heard from someone else – it could be a story that happened before you were born. 

  • How your neighborhood has changed over time.

SHARE ONLINE (optional)

  • Follow OOEL on Twitter and Instagram: @OutofEdenLearn.

  • Share photos of your map and story on social media using #EdenLearn! How, if at all, has your view of your neighborhood or local area changed now that you have created a map of the place? Are you seeing things differently? Share your reflections online. If the text is too long to share on Twitter, post photos of your handwritten or typed reflections.