AIM

To explore the way that a group of young people experienced their lives.

OBJECTIVE

To create a pictoral representation of the way children describe their life experiences using the following questions:

PARTICIPANTS

Twenty students from five schools in Canada aged between 12 years and 19 years most of whom were immigrants to Canada. Each had been referred to their school consellor to support them in dealing with a range of social and emotional challenges.

HOW THE LIFE STORY BOARD WAS USED:

The Life Story Board was created as a game played on a magnetic board using magnets to fix pictures, messages and small artefacts onto a pictoral map of a child’s life experiences. Different colours were used to represent different aspects of the child’s life e.g. yellow for personal experiences; green for experiences with family and relations and blue for experiences within the child’s wider community. Different markers e.g. ‘feelings’ markers; mental health markers; risk and resource chips could also be used to pinpoint different thoughts. A red timeline was shown at the top of the picture.

RESULTS (See figure one for an example of a Life Story Board)

Each young person prepared a multi-layered map was formed describing a wide range of experiences, different spaces in the children’s lives which looked back and forward as well as thinking about the present. It contained rich information about different aspects of their lives because the researcher and child had had time to talk about them as they created the map together.

The map was also a useful tool to continue to probe different elements of the experiences the child had portrayed.

FINDINGS: