The Autobiography Project is a way for you to look at yourself and your life through different lenses. You get to think about different aspects of your life and, with luck, see these aspects in a new light.

For the first part there are five assignments. Each part should be started on a new sheet of paper

What’s in a Name?: Names are an integral part of who we are. They shape our sense of who we are. Explore your feelings about “the unity between [your]self and [your] name.” Are these the names you would have chosen for yourself? Surname, middle name, Christian name? Is there a story behind your naming? Someone famous, a family member, weird initials? Does your name have symbolic meaning? Is it ethnic or historic or literary? Did your parents consider other names? In short, how do you live with your name?

Personal Alphabet

Likes/Dislikes List: Make two columns, one titled “Likes,” the other “Dislikes,” and list from ten to fifteen specific items in each column. Avoid naming specific classmates and teachers by generalizing. For example, “that mean teacher who’s making me write an autobiography,” not my name!

Sensory Experiences:The five senses allow us to perceive whatever is tangible, or concrete. A sensory experience is something we can taste, touch, smell, see, or hear. For example, ice-cold water-melon, hot dogs sizzling over a charcoal fire, mosquito bites, fireworks, and the music of the ice-cream wagon are sensory experiences I associate with a Fourth of July picnic. Describe a specific time and place which recalls rich sensory experiences for you. Include at least two details that appeal to each of the five senses.

Metaphorical Definitions