1b. Pre-Conference Oct 24 - Discover Your Sense of Place


Use the full range of your imagination in order to consider the deep meaning of the places where you live. Sense of place is a search for ecological roots. This is best accomplished when you have a relationship to the land on which you live, when you can place yourself securely in a tangible place. It's through the place that you live that you construct your personal identity, your relationship to the landscape, and you determine what is important in your life.

Sense of place concerns your home and region, feelings about land and community, kindred species, community niches, and sacred places. To have a sense of place is to merge your personal geography with the ecological landscape, incorporate maps of memory with how you dwell in a bioregion.


For this activity, the school may post one discussion thread or Gallery in response to the tasks, to represent the school. If more students would like to post as part of the assignment, you are welcome to do so.

Then everyone in the group is encourage to the comment on the discussion forums to engage in the national dialogue.

Start by having students discuss the following questions:

  • What is a place?
  • What are some ways in which people experience place?
  • How can you gain a sense of place in your local environment?
  • How can you share your observations and ideas about living things in your environment to help someone else learn about place?

After discussing in a group, complete the steps 1 to 3 individually at home:

1. Create a map of the physical space in which you live. How broad or how specific you define that place is up to you. You could do your city, or your home. You may interpret the map how you wish. For example: drawing a picture, creating a mind map, or putting together a photo collage all work well. Consider the following when drawing your map:

      • What are the waters sources near you? How are those connected to each other? As you do this think about how this water is connected to your own life.
      • Water shapes the land around it. What are the land forms in your place? How does the water interact with them
      • Water can also come from many different places: oceans, lakes, rivers, wells, springs, groundwater, ice, and weather.
      • How does the water move through your place? Does it run through a river, or evaporate and fall in the water cycle

2. Share your map in the Gallery, along with a description of your creation process. How did you interpret the map

3. In the gallery, comment on 2 other students’ maps on how you interpreted their map. How do you view this new place? What connections do you see the water making in this person’s life?

With your class, discuss the following:

  • How has your view and understanding of place changed during this assignment?
  • What did you notice about your place that you were not aware of before?
  • Did you discover anything that threatens your place? How does climate change affect the place where you live?
  • What solutions do you see for protecting your place? What solutions could you create and implement to make an impact on your place?

Have ONE REPRESENTATIVE from your school post on the Discussion Forum. EVERYONE in the group is then encourage to comment on other posts to stimulate the dialogue about what makes a place

Continue to 1c. Pre-Conference Oct 24 Finding Your Shoreline »

Submissions (9)