Students gain knowledge about specific places they’ve toured through a variety of activities.
Sitting atop a double-decker bus or sitting at a window seat on a tour boat is one way to experience a place. Sightseeing tours are often narrated by knowledgeable tour guides. A sightseeing tour can provide your youth group with an opportunity to see entire cities in a short amount of time and learn about many aspects of that city such as, architecture, history, geography, and culture. Walking tours also cover a lot of ground, but allow students and scouts up close and personal view of landmarks and historical sites. Some walking tours can be guided by actual historians, and others allow tourists to experience the sites at their own pace. If secrets and “Ah-ha’s” are what you’re looking for, a behind-the-scenes tour will provide you with the information you’ve been seeking. Although behind-the scenes tours are usually restricted to one location – theater, studio, museum, zoo – what they lack in sites they make up for with an intimate peek into the happenings behind closed doors. Whatever tour you go on, keep your eyes peeled for all the wonders you’re sure to experience.
BEFORE YOU GO• Call ahead and inquire about the sights and stops on the tours, as well any information the students may learn while on the tour.
• For a sightseeing tour or walking tour, create a scavenger hunt for the students to complete while on the trip. Include places, landmarks, interesting facts, and answers to questions that students must be on the lookout for throughout the tour.• Create a KWL chart for a behind-the-scenes tour. Begin with what the students know about the venue being visited, and then list the information they want to learn while on the trip. Students should focus on finding that information while on the trip.
WHAT TO WONDERQuestions to ask: How did they do that? When/How was that built? What occurred here?
Describe the sights around you. What do you see? What do you hear?
Observe the people around you. What are they doing? How are they doing it? What do they look like?
Opinion: What type of tour would you prefer for each of the following venues: historical site, landmark, company, performance, or campus. Explain why.
Compare visiting/experiencing a place on a sightseeing tour to visiting/experiencing a place on a walking tour.
Challenge: Imagine you are giving a tour of your home or school. Prepare your tour guide speech for a walking or sightseeing tour. What locations would you include on the tour? Why? What information would you include if you were giving a behind-the-scenes tour?
Discuss the benefits of each type of tour. How would your experience have changed if you were on a different type of tour? What information would you have learned or not learned if you were on a different type of tour?
Project: Create a map of the locations you visited on your tour. Include information about each location to help guide someone if they didn’t have a tour guide.
Research: Choose a site that you saw on your tour that interested you. Conduct research to find out more about it.
Social Impact: The preservation of historical and cultural landmarks is a continuing effort for preservationists. Many tour companies are non-profit organizations and others donate money to the preservation of the places they showcase on their tours. Research the tours you went on and investigate how the money they earn from tourists is spent.