Search form

All About Me: A Personal History Project

Objective: This lesson aims to guide students in creating a personal history project that allows them to share their life experiences, interests, and aspirations. Students will develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their peers through engaging activities and discussions, fostering a sense of belonging and empathy within the classroom community.

Duration: This lesson plan is designed to span multiple class periods, depending on the depth of exploration and the class size.

Common Core Standards: 9-10.WHST.6. “Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.”


  • Notebooks or loose-leaf paper

  • Writing materials (pens, pencils, markers)

  • Art supplies (colored pencils, scissors, glue)

  • Access to computers or devices with internet connectivity

  • (Optional) Old magazines or newspapers for collages

  • Sticky notes

Instructor Notes: Several of these activities could be done during classtime or assigned as homework projects to save time in class. 

Introduction (5 minutes)

Say: Today, we're embarking on an exciting journey of self-discovery! We'll dive deep into our unique stories—past, present, and future. We’ll be learning about ourselves and each other in the process. By the end of this project, you'll have memories and insights to cherish.

Activity 1: Digital Timeline of Your Past (60 minutes)

Say: Using a digital platform or drawing it on paper, create a timeline of your life. 

  • Highlight significant events, milestones, and turning points.

  • Enhance your timeline with images, drawings, or photographs representing each event.

  • Write short descriptions or reflections for each entry.

Do: Pair up and review each other's timelines. Discuss the similarities and differences in your journeys, finding points of connection.

Discussion: Share the highlights of your timelines with the class. Talk about how life experiences shape individuals and how empathy and understanding can grow through storytelling.

Activity 2: Collage of Your Identity Now (30 minutes)

Say: Gather art supplies, magazines, or use images from the internet. Create a collage that represents your identity, including your hobbies, passions, family, and cultural background.

Share: Display your collages around the classroom. Take a gallery walk, observing each other's collages. Leave sticky notes with positive comments or questions for the creators.

Discussion: Come together as a class and share the common themes and differences in the collages. Discuss how our experiences and backgrounds make us unique while also connecting us.

Activity 1: A Letter to Future You (30 minutes)

Say: Take a few minutes to reflect on your life journey so far. Think about your proudest achievements, happiest moments, and challenging experiences.

Say: Write a letter to your future self. Imagine yourself five or ten years from now. Compose a heartfelt letter to your future self. Share your aspirations, dreams, and the person you hope to become.

Do: Once you've written your letter, fold it neatly and seal it in an envelope. Write your future graduation or chosen date on the envelope.

Discussion: In pairs or small groups, discuss what you included in your time capsule letter and what you hope to achieve in the future. Consider how your experiences and goals shape who you are today.

Activity 4: Interviewing Peers (30 minutes)

Do: Work in pairs to interview each other. Prepare thoughtful questions to delve into each other's backgrounds, interests, and experiences.

Do: During the interview, take notes on your partner's responses. After the interview, reflect on what you've learned and share any surprises or insights.

Discussion: As a class, share the most intriguing discoveries from the interviews. Emphasize the importance of active listening and how it fosters empathy and appreciation for others.

Optional Homework Assignment: Have students turn their interviews of another classmate into an article like one you might find in Time Magazine. 

Closing (5 minutes)

Ask: What was the most important thing you learned about your past, present, or future self?

Say: Remember, understanding and empathizing with others' journeys help us cultivate a compassionate and supportive environment. Your personal history is a treasure that makes you who you are, and it's essential to celebrate and cherish it.

Written by Brooke Lektorich
Education World Contributor
Copyright© 2023 Education World