Tour of a Space
Tour of a Space asks students to offer a verbal and kinesthetic “tour” of a specific location to another student or group. This activity requires the guide to use sensory details and physical action to help other students imagine the place the guide is describing. This strategy helps all students develop further background knowledge and explore how our environment shapes our understanding of a time, place, or event.
Divide students in pairs and ask each pair to find their own space in the room. Invite pairs to sit and close their eyes. Think of a specific place where you feel the happiest. Imagine or recall this place in great detail, down to the color of the curtains or the texture of the grass. Next, ask each pair to decide on one person to be the guide. Each guide takes his or her partner for a five-minute tour of the imagined place. Encourage the guide to actively describe the details of the space around them, while they physically explore each part of the imagined space. The person on the tour can ask questions, and the guide may respond briefly though the focus must remain on the tour itself. After five to ten minutes, have the partners switch roles and so the former partner becomes the new tour guide. Afterwards gather the group together and ask each partner in the pair to briefly describe their colleague’s space to the rest of the group.
- What do you most remember from your partner’s tour? What did you see/smell/touch/taste/hear? For those of you leading the tour, how did you help your partner see and understand the space?
- Now that we’ve heard about all the spaces…what was similar and/or different about the places we toured?
- How might these spaces and places invite us to think more deeply about our larger inquiry?
- Be specific with your description of the space. Give as many details as you can.
- How can you use your words and movements to make your partner feel like they are really experiencing the space?
- Describe not only what you can see, but also what you smell, touch, taste, and hear in this space.
- Have students draw/write words (e.g., we see trolls, we hear footsteps, we smell grass, etc.) about the space on paper before giving a tour. Lay the papers on the ground to help guide the tours.
- Reading/Writing: Have students give a tour of a location from a novel, either from their own perspective or as a character from the book.
- Social Studies: Have students research locations of important historical events or cultures and then ask them to give a tour of the space to others recalling important facts and events.
- Science: Have students give a tour of a cumulous cloud, the tundra, the ocean, or an atom.