Graphing Your Life
(Adapted from Linda Rief)

You are going to create a graph about your life so far.   On it you will put some of the high points and some of the low points in your life.  But remember, you do not have to put anything on your graph that makes you uncomfortable.

1. Across the bottom of your graph you will put the years.  You can use the year you were born as a beginning place, or you can use the various ages you were when the events happened.

For example, if Ms. Hoxie-Green were doing her life graph, she might start with the year she was born (1854).  She might go up by five year increments, or, since there are SOOOOOO many years, 10 year increments.  So, the first big thing on her chart might be her birth, followed by an even bigger eventóthe first time she bit a student. :-)

2. Start thinking about your chart or graph by making a list of some of  the things that have happened to you.  Think about

¨ moves you have madeófrom one house to another or one school district to another
¨ friends you have made
¨ grandparents who have died
¨ pets
¨ the birth of brothers and sisters
¨ a time when you got hurt
¨ a time when you won something
¨ a special birthday
¨ a divorce in the family
¨ a time when you did something embarrassing
¨ an unexpected death in the family or in the neighborhood
¨ the day you fell in love with somebody
¨ the day you fell out of love with somebody
¨ something that happened to you during a sport or a game
¨ anything else that is meaningful to you that you want to share

3. Begin thinking about your chart or graph.  Number your paper from one to ten down the side.  Ten will indicate the best things that have happened to you, one will indicate the worst things.  The numbers in between will indicate how you feel about some of the events that fall in between the best and the worst.

4. Place the years across the bottom of your paper.  You can put every single year if you would like, or you can just use the years that the events took place in.

5. Now itís time to place the events in your graph.  Put a dot when the event happened and how it rates on your best/worst scale.  When you are finished, draw a line to connect the dots and you will see the graph. Ad and adjust things as you need to

6. Now itís time to think about your final draft of your graph.  You will want this to be on nice white paper with no lines.  You must label the events that happened and, if possible, draw a little picture of each event.  Your graph should be neat and in color.

Drawing Your Neighborhood
Baby Steps and Thoughtshots
Memoir Overview
Writing the Lead