Pocket Tour Checklist

Sample Docent Pocket Tour Reference courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Beachwood, Ohio.

Download the original form as a Word document.



Pocket Tour Reference

Written and Designed by

Juline Chevalier 2006

As a Docent, you are an educator,
facilitator and a guide.
  It is important to share information about an exhibition/artwork with your audience and to always know more than you will be able to share with your tour group.  It is even more important to give your audience the opportunity, tools, skills and confidence to be able to approach and interpret artwork on their own.

Make sure that your guided tour provides opportunities

  • for visitors to look closely and carefully at artwork while examining/discussing its formal properties
  • for visitors to come to their own interpretation of artwork.
  • for you to share appropriate contextual and background information on the artist, time period, artistic movement, etc.

Pre-Tour Checklist

  • Wear your white Nasher name-tag
  • Touch base with your Escort (if you have one) to discuss time-keeping
  • Fill out the bottom of an evaluation form
  • Count out enough “return visit” cards for K-12 tour groups
  • Set up any materials in the gallery
  • Review tour content, format and mechanics

  • Visual analysis
    Color, line, shape, texture, form, balance, rhythm, emphasis, gaze, shading, etc.
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Factual info. about artist/artwork
  • Interesting tidbits
  • Relate artwork to visitors’ personal life experiences



  • Clearly state theme and how time will be spent
  • Introduction, Body, Conclusion
  • Clear transitions between stops
  • Use open-ended questions
  • Provide wait-time for responses
  • Paraphrase audience responses
  • Keep track of time



  • Welcome
  • Explain and model museum rules
  • 12 inch rule; no photography
  • Face group w/o blocking artwork
  • Make eye contact will all group members
  • Use age-appropriate vocabulary
  • Speak so I can be heard by all

 Post-Tour Checklist

  • Give evaluation to the tour leader or participant
  • Give “return visit” cards to teacher of K-12 tour groups
  • Clean up any materials in the gallery
  • Fill out a post-tour reflection sheet in docent room
  • For public tours, fill in a green “Head Count” slip