City Walking Tour

In the City Walking Tour ESL activity students plan a route around a city and write the directions needed to follow it.

Students for City Walking Tour ESL Activity:2+Time for City Walking Tour ESL Activity:30-60 mins
Resources for City Walking Tour ESL Activity:
Tourist Maps

You will need a paper copy of a city centre tourist map (showing both street names and tourist sights) for every two students. If you don’t have enough copies, one for every three or four can also work.

If you have more than two students, divide the class into pairs (or groups of three/four as needed). Give each group a map.

  1. Each group plans a route around the city taking in various tourist sights. Ask for between five and ten sights, depending on the student age/level and desired activity length. They should note down the sights on their route to refer to later.
  2. On a separate piece of paper, they write down clear directions (using the target language) to/from each place. However, they must not include the name of the main stops in their description (apart from the start and finish points). For example: Starting at Westminster Abbey, go straight on along George Street. Take the third right onto Poplar Avenue. Go straight on past the park and Stop One is on your left. Next, turn left…
  3. When they have finished, the groups swap their directions.
  4. Each group has to follow their new directions, and try and write down the sights represented by the stops on the route.
  5. At the end, the groups compare their lists of stops to see if they are correct. If anything is incorrect, students have to work out where they went wrong.
Target Language

The City Walking Tour ESL activity is perfect for high beginner or low intermediate students learning directions. You could also use it for the topic of travel, or as part of the extended activity Class Trip.

For a similar activity that is more focused on describing a tour itinerary than how to get from place to place, see the Plan A Tour project.

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