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A Walking Tour? What is that?

Back in the good ole days of teaching, we were able to pack up our students and take them, with assistance and funding from parents and our district, to museums, historical sites, and even cemeteries if we could show there was a lesson involved.  Then came NCLB and a number of other funding issues, and away went our fun little trips for knowledge.

Along came the classroom Walking Tour.  It's simple, and called a number of different things by different teachers.  It may be a Gallery Walk for an art class, a Museum Wall for a History course, an Aquarium Viewing in a Science room, or just a Walking Tour where you hope to keep your students engaged as they learn using a number of strategies and while addressing a number of the multiple intelligences.

Your work comes entirely before the activity begins.  You set up your classroom, or hallway, or entire school building with images, quotes, factual tidbits, full readings, video, music, and so much more for students to investigate as they take the tour.  Hang things on walls, sit them on desks, utilize bulletin boards, or float items from the ceiling.  And then, sit back and watch the learning take place!

Chaos, you imagine?  Not if you do it right! 
  • Arrange students in "good working" pairs or small groups for movement from location to location.  
  • Set up an online stopwatch to keep students on a workable schedule.
  • Include many visuals, fun activities for students to complete, music, video, and more to keep students engaged.
  • Require students to complete tasks or record information at they travel, and always remind students they will be required for all provided content.
  • Float!  As students are taking the tour, travel around to engage students in conversation.  Ask them questions, share with them what interests you about the topics, or simply comment on their perceptions and insights as they share with each other.
Walking Tours can take students out of the typical classroom setting, allowing them to forget that they are in a boring building learning boring content.  It makes learning fun, and before yo know it, your students will love coming to class, ready to take the next trip you plan for them to visit.

Where do you want to go next?

Try my ready to use Walking Tours for the Social Studies, Science or ELA Classroom:

Walking Tour of the Roaring 20s

Walking Tour of the Industrial Revolution (one of my favorites!)

Walking Tour of Asia

A Walking Tour with the Presidents

A Walking Tour of Florence during the Renaissance

A Sailing Tour of the Columbian Exchange Route

Happy Teaching!
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Michele