How to Implement the Gallery Walk Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom
During a gallery walk, learners explore multiple pieces of content or images that are placed around the room. You can utilize this method when you want to have learners share their work with peers, examine various historical documents, or respond to a collection of quotations. Because this method requires learners to move around the room, it can be uniquely engaging to kinesthetic learners.
- Select Texts: Select the content (e.g., quotations, images, documents, and learner work) you will be utilizing for the gallery work. You could also have the learners themselves, working individually or in small groups, select the content.
- Display Texts around the Classroom: The content must be displayed “gallery style” in a way that allows learners to disperse themselves around the room, with several learners clustering around each particular piece of content. Content can be hung on walls or placed on tables. The most crucial factor is that the piece of content are spread far enough apart to reduce crowding.
- Explore Texts: The instructions that you give students will depend on your goals for the activity. If the purpose of the gallery walk is to introduce learners to the new material, you may want them to take informal notes as they walk around the room. If the purpose is for learners to take away particular information, you can create a graphic organizer for them to complete as they view the exhibit or compile a list of questions for them to answer based on the contents on display. Sometimes, instructors ask learners to identify similarities and differences among a collection of content. Or instructors give learners a few minutes to tour the room and then, once seated, ask them to record impressions about what they saw. Learners can take a gallery walk on their own or with a partner. They must also be allowed to tour in small groups, and you can announce when groups can move to the next piece in the exhibition. One instruction that must be emphasized is that learners are supposed to disperse around the room. When too many learners cluster around one piece of content, it not only makes it difficult for learners to view the content but also increases the likelihood of off-task behavior.
- Debrief the Gallery Walk: Once learners have had a chance to view a sufficient number of the texts around the room, debrief the activity as a class. Depending on the goals of the gallery walk, this debrief can take a variety of forms. You may ask learners to share the information they collected, or you may ask learners what conclusions they can draw about a more substantial question from the evidence they examined.