Thursday, 17 September 2015

8 ways to mark World Tourism Day in school

World Tourism Day 2015 is on Sunday 27th September: providing you with a topic to use around this time. It is an opportunity to highlight the key messages the event promotes in an enjoyable way for students.

‘1 billion tourists, 1 billion opportunities’

The day aims to emphasise the importance of tourism and its value across the world. It also seeks to address challenges outlined in United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

No matter what ages you work with, this is such a versatile topic. It opens up a whole host of fun ideas for the classroom.

When I was reminded by a tweet this morning that the day was coming up, I thought I'd have a think about it and came up with 8 ways to mark it in school.

  1. Virtual tourism: Skype or Google Earth

    It's an excellent way to help your students learn about other countries and cultures plus share their own experience too. There are some brilliant ideas out there on the most creative ways to do this.

    Skype Education is easy to navigate around and helps you find the best match for you and your class. I’ve seen so many teachers share things about the sessions they’ve had – so if you haven’t already, give it a try! Mystery Skype is a big branch of this. Invented by teachers, the general idea is that one class has to guess the location of the other class, all through Skype!

    There’s also some great ideas on using Google Earth to explore the world too – whether you have desktops or tablets, there’s a way to get your students virtually touring!

  2. Organise a trip somewhere

    It's almost definitely something you've done before, and probably more hassle than a virtual trip, but it's so worth it. Seeing your students enlightened by the prospect - then reality - of visiting somewhere they’ve never been or experienced before, is wonderful.

    It can be a different continent (wow!), a different country, a different town or even a local site they’ve never been; whatever it is, starting planning now brings it that bit closer.

  3.  Have a ‘try another culture’ day

    How this works depend on a few things – your role, how big your school or class is or even the enthusiasm of colleagues. It can be a schoolwide event, or just your class, but this can be a great way for students to experience other foods, languages, customs and character.

    It could mean simply bringing in a few different types of snack-type food and your class guessing which country it originates from, or it could be students bringing in things themselves. Get a class on Skype from the country you focus on, or perhaps invite in a speaker from there!

  4. Get students sharing their own experiences of tourism

    They could write a review, newspaper article, blog post (if you have a school blog) or even design a leaflet for tourists. This doesn’t mean they need to have been somewhere far away or expensive – it could be where your school is, it could be on a place they visited at the weekend or where they went on a school trip.

    You could ask them to do it about somewhere they want to go, then they’ll have to do lots of research!

  5. Run a SOLE session

    If you haven’t heard about Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs), read about them here. In short, they are “when educators and/or parents encourage kids to work in groups that they form, and are free to change, to answer big, open questions by using the internet” (SOLE toolkit).

    How about making the big question something tourism related? An example could be “What is the best country to visit in the world?", "What defines a tourist?" or anything you think.

  6. Have a look on Global Dimension’s website

    Browse through the ‘tourism’ educational activities for lesson plans, resources and teacher packs.

  7. Try one of our resources
    Package and all inclusive holidays are becoming very popular in recent years
    A slip from the Glenda mystery

    We have a range of collaborative learning activities. If you’d like a PDF ‘mystery’ on why Glenda, someone running a beachside hotel, may be cooking breakfast for the last time (more details here), comment ‘NTD Glenda’ at Let Us Know and I’ll email it to you.

    If you’d prefer to try an iPad app, take a look at our Geography mysteries (see our website) and comment ‘NTD’ at Let Us Know followed by the name of the app you want to try, and I’ll email you a free code to download it!

  8. Get involved on social media

    Take a look at the social media pages of World Tourism Day and share your views.

If you have any ideas or have planned something already, please do comment or let us know on Twitter (@refthinking).