Learning Scenario

Map Your Author (EMSB)

Sample Map Callendar

Information and contexts:

Our project actually began with mapping out information about the writer, and the writer’s ‘residence’ on earth. This could mean their place of birth, their past and current residences, or, for writers who moved around a lot, all of those and more."

Teachers could show this demo map on to show how students might map an author's residence, where they were born, etc.

Students may want to add images, texts and other information about an author's life to a Google Slide document before plotting them on a map. This allows them to have a backup for their information and a place to draft their work and collaborate on the actual texts and research before mapping. Click on a sample slide provided by a student when they were working on a novel by Stephen King.

Read more about this project's context:
"We used a ‘Literature-circle’ approach but students could start any project about a book this way. Students read graphic novels/illustrated texts in their circle. Some graphic novels engaged a writer and an illustrator. For example, Dave McKean illustrated David Almond’s text, Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf. So students had to map two artists. We were exploring the ‘big idea’ of the writer’s craft, and considering a writer’s political, cultural, and ideological influences. Class discussion about writers was noticeably shaped by the maps that students created.

We then proceeded to map the places actually mentioned and represented in the texts, which enabled students to explore another big idea – that of cultural appropriation. A cogent case was when students who mapped The Outside Circle, which is set in Edmonton, Alberta, and students who mapped The Silence of our Friends, which is set in Texas, considered the question, ‘Who knows the real story about what happened there?’


Visit cartograf.learnquebec.ca and create an account if you haven't already, then sign in.
Note that when you first register, you might have to write a secret passcode (learn2map), as well as your own password choice.

Click to Create a map. Zoom in to an area large enough to contain the places your artist has lived or travelled.
Click CREATE to actually create your map at that zoom and location, then title your map as follows:
‘Yourname, Your Story or Author's Name’

Using the ‘Points of Interest’ pins in Cartograf, student mark the exact location for key points in their author's life that they feel are important. The choice of location is ultimately a personal choice and interpretation of what is important about the author, which they can explain further in the marker point's description too.

ELA Connections
This project was one of many Cartograf mapping scenarios designed and completed by students of Ruwani Payoe and Heather Morrison of English Montreal School Board (EMSB). To read more about their experience and how this project fit into their learning goals, visit Interactive Reader Maps in the English Language Arts Classroom.