Then have them draw three points on the line, and label them with significant memories. You may want to encourage them to use memories about langauge if you are doing this before the Literacy Essay drafting. They will complain that they have nothing worth putting on the line, that nothing has ever happened to them, so it might be good for you to play along and do your own timeline on the board or overhead. Pick ordinary topics and explain that simple topics are not only easier to write about, but can potentially reveal a great deal about a person.
Once they have chosen three points and moments, have them freewrite for ten minutes about each one. After this, you may want them to share their work with the class, a reading partner, or their group. Have the group/partner come up with a title for each narrative and decide which they would like to hear more about and why. Hopefully, each student will have come up with a workable topic for their essay and learned to focus on points in their lives, rather than the entirety of it.