The Jane's Walk School Edition

Jane’s Walk School Edition is a creative, physical, inquiry-based program in which students gather local knowledge about their communities and turn it a citizen-led walking tour, a Jane's Walk. In 2008 Jane's Walk debuted its first-ever School Edition, in Toronto. In 2010, Jane's Walk geared for its youngest crowd, a mix of Junior Kindergarten to grade 3 students. In 2016, Jane's Walk community took it to French-speaking classrooms in Toronto and in 2017, to Spanish-speaking classrooms, in Palma. 

School Walks Curriculum. 

If you would like to bring Jane's Walk in your classroom, these are templates that can help you. If you have the time, customize them to what works best for your context! We have structured them into 5 lessons that lead to a Jane's Walk. They are not meant to be followed word-to-word. Jane’s Walk are meant to be fun, engaged and participatory; everyone has got a story and they are usually keen to share it!

Introducing Jane's Walk (Slideshow)
Teaching Notes

1. Introduction (20 minutes)
• Briefly give context of Jane's Walk and Jane Jacobs
• Talk about previous Walks
• Outline of plan for the rest of the curriculum

Objective: to introduce Jane Jacobs' philosophy, to generate ideas for a classroom-led Jane's Walk in the area

2. Mapping exercise (20 minutes)
• Mapping exercise that asks students to think about their neighbourhood
• Break into smaller groups, if necessary
• What are some important meeting spaces in your area? important for food, prayer, recreation, laughing with friends, local politics; think broadly)
• Can you think of an important question or idea that should be identified on this map?

Objective: Get the people to take their own observations and experiences seriously, and not think of the Walk as a tour of places that might matter to other people. Jane’s Walks are highly personal, idiosyncratic and a view of the neighbourhood from the perspective of the Walk Leaders (your classroom). They decide what is important and relevant.

3. Conclusion (20 minutes)
• Based on the exercise, discuss some examples of possible stops on the Walk
• Give a few examples of moving from the mapped ideas to creating stops using the maps to stimulate ideas
• Steps towards next lesson: explain that we will be picking locations and groups
• Assign homework

Objective: to introduce Jane Jacobs' philosophy, to generate ideas for a classroom-led Jane's Walk in the area.
Homework: Research your stops

Teaching Notes

1. Quick Review (5 minutes)

2. Deciding on the stops (15 minutes)
• Ask everyone to report back their findings re: stop ideas. Review the ideas and come to some decisions as a group about which locations/ideas should be developed further
• Remind people that ‘you decide what’s important and relevant’, ie: the place that you care about the most.

3. Exercise (20 minutes)
• Work in small groups to identify information-gathering required to animate their location and discuss ideas.
• Review of images, maps, and
• Mapping or sketching ideas
• Small groups (stops) report back to the larger group (classroom)

Objective: To identify possible points of interest, and what information is needed to develop the stops.
Homework: Research your stops

Teaching Notes

1. Review/progress report (5 minutes)

2. Exercise: Small groups visit their stops (50 minutes)

Objective: To refine scripts/talking points about each stop on the Walk

3. Wrap-up and assign homework (5 minutes)

Homework: Complete any further necessary research and complete scripts/talking points

Teaching Notes

1. Review (5 minutes)

2. Break into small groups and prepare presentation at each stop (55 Minutes)
•  May include a trip to the library, use of maps and materials 
•  May include additional guest animators to work with groups (e.g. architect, city planner, local activist, artist, local resident historian)

Objective: To be ready for the Walk; complete research, scripts/talking points and finish up any final details, such and inviting additional animators, etc.
Homework: Prepare for your Jane’s Walk; take one last look at your stops, rehearse/review your script/talking points


Encourage the student guides to take on an ambassadorial role, this is their tour and the participants are eager to hear what they have to say. Guides shouldn’t assume any of the other students know the material that they are about to present. They are there to enliven, teach and share their stories with others, their enthusiasm will be contagious. These are places they care about, and as we have learned, the places where we live, work and go to school all have interesting stories behind them.

And don’t forget to take pictures, share them, post them on our Flickr site, or send them along to us here at Jane’s Walk. We’d love to see what you’re up to.

•  Jane’s Walks usually happen the first weekend in May.
•  Jane’s Walks are free and open to the public
•  Community walks are open to the public, and Jane’s Walk can help with promotion of the community Walk.
•  School Edition Jane’s Walks do not have to take place on the official Jane’s Walk weekend, they can happen before or after since they are usually not included in the public schedule of the walks (this is entirely at the discretion of the school). Walks could be open to other teachers, parents or local guests (as appropriate)

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