This activity is for upper elementary, middle and high school aged students.
To learn more about your mentee’s past and present, as well as giving the mentor an opportunity to self-disclose appropriately. Self-disclosure can be a very effective tool. It allows the mentee to hear about how adults “come back” from hard times in safe and healthy ways. Additionally completing the timeline gives both the mentor and the mentee an opportunity to learn more about their experiences that helped shape the person they are today.
Something to keep in mind:
Each mentor’s and mentee’s comfort level with self-disclosure varies.
Any experience shared by the mentor should be one that the mentor can easily talk about and is appropriate to share with a student.
Examples of appropriate life experiences for a mentor to share would be the day in childhood when a pet or family member died; when you started school; when or if you had a baby or got married; broke a leg; learned a new language; graduated from high school or college; or took a special vacation.
Life is about various ups and downs. It is good for children to see that adults can experience many ups and downs using healthy coping skills.
- Markers, pencils or crayons
- Each person takes 5-10 minutes to create their timeline. Draw a line across the paper.
- Write the date you were born at the beginning of the line and work your way to the end, placing important dates and events that hold wonderful memories, provided challenges and shaped who you are.
- Allow your mentee to be creative and support their self-expression. Visuals are encouraged, since children are visual learners; drawing pictures of babies, family members, diplomas, houses, smiley faces, or broken hearts is encouraged to describe defining life moments.
After both mentor and mentee complete his/her timeline, take turns sharing. Notice similarities or differences in experiences. You can elaborate and encourage when appropriate, on coping strategies they used to get through hard times.