How-to Create a Walking Tour in Your Classroom

Want to make your classroom more interactive, but don't know how?

Start with Walking Tours!  

Walking Tours get your students up moving around the classroom, provide them all the content on a topic in a visually appealing manner and encourage discussion of the content to help with retention and application.

A how-to for creating a Walking Tour or Gallery Walk in the classroom.
Here's the simple how-to:
  1. Create or purchase ready-made Walking Tour resources.   Collect vibrant images, interesting quotes, thorough content, and engaging questions that will foster discussion.  Place the information on printable cards that can be arranged in your classroom setting.
  2. Print (in color when possible) and laminate the cards for year-to-year use.  
  3. Organize the tour in a chronological or thematic manner around your classroom.  Add other media to enhance skills and learning process.  Consider atlases, maps, almanacs, books, bookmarked novels, additional images, etc. 
    A how-to for creating a Walking Tour or Gallery Walk in the classroom.
  4. Assign students in small groups (2-4) to travel in as they collect information from each location or time period on the tour.
  5. Go over the rules for your classroom regarding voice levels, walking standards, and collaboration basics!
  6. Provide students a graphic organizer or tour worksheets for completion and note-taking as they move around the room. 
    A how-to for creating a Walking Tour or Gallery Walk in the classroom.
  7. Circulate from location to location with students.  Ask additional questions or point out interesting content as you engage with groups.  Clarify student confusion or answer questions as needed.  DO NOT answer the student questions provided at each tour location, but direct students to the materials for consideration!
  8. Set a timer or use to keep students focused and on task.  Remind students of time demands as you circulate.
  9. Assess students as you circulate.  Consider participation, skills practice, or reading for content as assessment criteria. 
    A how-to for creating a Walking Tour or Gallery Walk in the classroom.
  10. Allow students time after completing all locations to answer wrap-up or comparison questions.  Encourage group discussion for completion.
  11. Review the key content as a whole class.  Discuss interesting parts of the activity and answer student questions.  
  12. Refer back to the activity in later lessons and use activity clues in unit tests.
Allowing students to get up and move around for content-strong lessons will teach them that learning can be fun.  More importantly, they will be practicing skills of reading, content collection, and analysis that are so vital for learning in the 21st century!

***My Walking Tour of the Industrial Revolution was used in this activity description.  Find it and others in my TpT Store!
A how-to for creating a Walking Tour or Gallery Walk in the classroom.

Be sure to see my other How-To Series topics on my blog and visit my TpT Store for engaging, content strong lessons!

A how-to for creating a Walking Tour or Gallery Walk for the middle or high school Social Studies classroom. Great ideas for collaborative activities, addressing questions, and teaching vocabulary.

Happy Touring!

Michele Luck

How-To Use Quiz Cards for More Interactive Assessments

Need new, creative ways to assess student learning?

Try using a Quiz Card Activity!

Here's the simple how-to:
  1. Select questions to provide a complete assessment on the content taught. 
  2. Create quiz cards or purchase them ready-made.  If cards are not already numbered, write numbers on the back or add number stickers.  Visit my TpT store for great Scavenger Hunt Sets that work very well with this activity.
  3. Laminate cards to protect them from year to year.  Hole-punch card sets to place them on a ring for easy storage.
  4. Place students in small groups.  Mixed ability grouping works well to help all students in this type of activity.
  5. Arrange the cards in a random method on each group table.  Randomization helps to guarantee students KNOW the content and have not simply memorized an ordered arrangement. 
  6. Have students number their paper for quiz.  This may be an assessment you collect, or could be for students to keep in their notebook for further review.
  7. Allow students to pick from quiz cards, completing questions in a random order.  Have students answer in simple wording or require full sentences to help reinforce ideas. 
  8. Give students the option of discussing questions with group for more interactivity.
  9. Grade as a whole class for added review.
Using quiz cards and allowing student discussion not only assesses student understanding and content knowledge, but it works to review the content for added reinforcement.

***My Presidents Scavenger Hunt is shown in this activity how-to.

Be sure to see my other How-To Series topics on my blog and visit my TpT Store for engaging, content strong lessons!

Middle or high school teachers can make your assessments more interactive with this how-to on using quiz cards in the classroom. Number 8 is my favorite. #teaching

Happy Teaching!
Michele Luck

Student Importance and Significance

Throughout the year, we teach our students about the important places, events, and people of our world.  While these are all valuable lessons, it is also importance to teach them of their own importance and significance in our world.  Many may be thinking that I am referencing elementary aged students and the lessons they learn in the early grades as they adapt to the classroom.  Instead, I think the responsibility falls to the upper grades.  It is in these years that we can teach the students the costly lessons in life, and how to avoid the mistakes made by others throughout history.

What should we teach?

Start with the history or the literature or any other content.  Teach them about those people who have made our world what it is.  The heroes, the activists, the ground-breakers.  And then teach them their place in the world, and how they are responsible for making it a different place than it is today.
  • Lead students to identify their areas of interest.
  • Discuss with students the wrongs of the past.
  • Identify the problems of today.
  • Ask students what they can do to make a difference.
  • Challenge students to change the status-quo.
  • Encourage students to stand up for their beliefs.
  • Allow students to be individuals and to think for themselves.
  • Teach them that they are responsible for their world, and that by-standers are never positively significant.
Teach about today.  Talk about the hot topics that are on the news, and challenge students to think about what they would do differently.  And push them to think through topics, and to step away from the generic responses of generations past.  Today is a different world - and they should be different citizens of that world.  It is up to them to make it change!

Some of my suggested topics or activities to spur discussion:
  • Review Important People and identify what made them important.  What could they have done differently?  How could they have changed the world or the future?  What lessons do they teach us about the world we live in now?
  • Talk about the recent news story of terror.  Ask your students what they would have done?  Would they have run from the scene?  Run to help the injured?  Are they angry at the terrorists?  How can we prevent these events in the future?
  • Discuss the latest school shooting.  What would prompt someone to do this type of thing?  How would they deal with a situation like this in our community? Do they understand how someone could do something like this?  Is there any explanation?
  • Refer to a local shooting.   How would they respond in such a situation?  What about their friends or family with them?  Are they sympathetic/empathetic to the shooter?  Can they explain why these things happen?  What would they change to prevent these shootings?
  • Examine the Events of 9/11.  Is this really a battle over religion?  Were the terrorists bad people?  Were they following the tenants of their religion or acting as individuals?  How should individuals or nations respond to an attack such as this one?  Should we have gone to war?  Against who?  Are the people of the nations where the terrorists are from responsible for these attacks?
Challenge students to investigate other current events or Significant People in our World.  What is their role?  What is our responsibility as individuals?  What should our nation do in response?  How do they see the future? 

And then, ask your students to evaluate.  What type of person am I now?  What do I do on a small scale that impacts others?  How can I help my community?  How can I influence the people around me in a positive way EVERY day?  What can they do to make positive change?
  •  A fun way to allow students to self-evaluate is to have them Create Paper Dolls of themselves.  Just as they would evaluate a character from a book or an historic figure, they can detail the characteristics of their own personality and identify their own contributions.
As the school year comes to an end, challenge your students to become better people for their futures.  Challenge yourself to do the same!

What are the most important lessons we can teach our middle and high school students? Here are a few tips for teaching them their own importance and significance, as well as their responsibilities in this ever-changing world! #teachers

Happy Teaching!
Michele Luck