Notes for teachers on creating your own Great Escape project

The Great Escapes tours were created as short collaborative projects with schools on Mull and Iona and education staff at the National Library of Scotland.

Here we have compiled some notes for teachers on how the tours projects ran, that can be used to plan a similar project. The activities page includes some of the activities that were used in the Great Escapes project to learn about John Murray's Handbooks for Travellers for you to use with your pupils.

Key areas of study

The projects focused on three key areas of study:

  • Local studies: using resources like libraries, local history groups and museums to research local history, natural history or similar topics in the area local to the school.
  • Tourism: exploring tourism in Scotland in the past, and considering what tourists to Scotland might need to help them enjoy their holiday today.
  • Enterprise: because the tours were made available in the local tourist information centre, some schools included an enterprise element to their project, and explored marketing, promotion etc for their tours.

Many of the schools on Mull are small schools with classes that combine a number of school years. Therefore in many cases projects were run across school years. However, the main focus of the work was for Primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils.

Use different formats

You can use lots of different kinds of content, from photographs and sound to film and even link to websites.

The Great Escapes tours are built using audio recorded as mp3 files, photographs taken by the school pupils, and drawings saved by pupils. These assets were converted into mp4 films which have been loaded on to Flickr and Googlemaps for the public to download and view.

There are other ideas for ways to host your tour in the Project timeline PDF (3 pages; 24 KB).

Building links with local history groups, museums or libraries can be a good way to carry out local research – they can be a mine of good information and might be able to provide you with content for your tour.

Ideas for producing a tour

The downloadable documents here suggest ideas for producing a similar tour.

  • Project timeline PDF (2 pages; 52 KB): This document gives a detailed breakdown suggesting how a similar project could be run with a class. The suggested timings shown are estimates based on a 10-day project. Projects could be run over a 10-day period or built into general timetabling over a longer period.
  • 'Ideas for tours' worksheet PDF (1 page; 49 KB). This sheet gives you some ideas for topics and themes for tours.
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