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The Tour Mindset Exercise

Ages: 11 +
Nr. of participants: 5 to 15 (or more but divided by teams)
Roles: Tour guides (1-3 participants) and tourists (2-15 participants)
Needed: Any type of cameras for the participants
Resource: Preparation Sheet for Tour Guides

When we go on a tour, we get curious about things and places and walk with an open, inquisitive eye. We are more attentive to interesting events and things, and often try capture them. We are in a ‘tour mindset’.

With a tour mindset you don’t look for the fastest way from A to B, but you stop, observe and inquire. Observing and inquiring is important obviously not only within art practices, but for any subject as a way to understand things on a deeper level.

The Exercise

‘Tour guides’ (1-3 participants) pre-design a tour for a selected place/area and collect facts, curious observations and stories about that place. They guide a group of ‘tourists’ (2- 15 participants) whose role is to capture with their cameras interesting things and moments of the tour.

You can apply this exercise to any class subject: eg. if it’s a biology class you might want to assign a tour around the park/yard. If it’s an art class, you could suggest a weird location, or tell participants to choose a place related to their current art project’s topic.

The goal is to see ordinary things and places on a deeper level, while encouraging curiosity and research.

Suggested Instructions

  1. Assign participants’ roles: The tour guide(s) and the tourists. You can alternate roles and have teams organizing different tours.
  2. Assign a location: Depending on you group’s age and the class/workshop subject, set locations or areas to cover. It can even be an area inside the school! Try to play with the level of complexity and restrictions: Eg. a tour in a gym can be very difficult but would make participants think harder, a tour around the neighborhood could be easier but probably more fun. The most important thing is to choose the most ordinary and even boring places, it shouldn’t be a known tourist spot otherwise it won’t be a challenge! Remember: the point is to see ordinary things and places in a deeper level.
  3. Preparation: The tour guide(s) need to prepare the tour day(s) before.  They need to choose the route, look for curiosities, highlights and search for information, facts and stories. This preparation sheet for tour guides may help, please download it and edit according to your class/needs.
  4. The tour day: Get the groups ready: The tour guides will guide, the tourists have to capture interesting moments/things with their cameras. After the tour has ended everyone can share pictures and thoughts on why they find certain spots or moments interesting.

Recommendations: You might want to set a duration and time for each tour: from 30 min, 1 hour, more… is up to you. The tour that inspired me for this exercise lasted 5 hours and it started at midnight.

Most important: have fun!

This Exercise was Contributed by Perla Montelongo.

This exercise was contributed by Perla Montelongo (http://www.nodecenter.net).

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