February 15, 2021

What is a Gallery Walk?

 



Engage your students and reap the benefits of a gallery walk. You may ask, what is a gallery walk. Put simply, a gallery walk is a way to kinesthetically engage students in learning opportunities where they see, think and wonder.


Teaching Strategy

The basic idea behind a gallery walk is a scenario in which students get up out of their seats and move around the room. Students may then look at other classmate’s work consisting of images, text or other sources of creativity. The teaching strategy stresses the importance that students are actively engaging in the activity of seeing, thinking and wondering.

Consider a gallery walk like going into one of the Smithsonian museums. When you walk in it can be done silently or you may get excited and want to share what you are learning with your friends. In a gallery walk, this is much the same thing however, based upon what you saw and discuss students will create a product such as poster of those conversations. This can be in physical or in digital form.

Students have the time to reflect as they walk around the room prior to writing down their thoughts. Your gallery walk should be structured so that it is strategically timed so that students have time to think about their responses, can converse with their peers and have the opportunity to build on each others thoughts.

My recommendation is that you, as the teacher, establish specific rules or protocals prior to this activity. This establishes the structure many students need when you are trying to cultivate creativity, critical thinking in their writing, asking clarifying questions, and respectfully agreeing and disagreeing. If students can provide meaningful and actionable feedback, then the lesson has resulted in measurable success. Once, students have completed their posters, then digitaly take a photo of the activity product so it can be saved as a classroom artifact.

Operational Steps (20 minutes)

  • Decide upon the student work or content you want to be displayed during the Gallery Walk.
  • Attach these pieces of student work or content on the walls so they can be easily accessed by your students.
  • Determine and communicate what the purpose of viewing the content is to the students. Include student instructions with each content-based station.
  • Choose whether students will move in groups or as individuals. If moving in groups, consider managing who will be in which group.
  • Engage the students as they move around the room. Give them each some sort of graphic or visual organizer.
  • Finally, reflect. Discuss, with students, their experience and provide them the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Gallery Walk Graphic Organizer

Credit to betterlessons.com, modified for post.

Downloadable Graphic Organizer

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