Best Practices:  The Gallery Walk

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Best Practices: The Gallery Walk

Using the Gallery Walk instructional strategy to teach important classroom routines & structures

Teaching Duration: 1-3 class periods

What is a GALLERY WALK?

A gallery walk is a kinesthetic strategy that help students learn information.  It closely resembles the idea of a jigsaw, but with more movement.

  • To set up a gallery walk, you will need content - something that needs to be learned by the students.  

  • For a simple example, you might be teaching students about primary elections.  In that case, the students would need to know information about each of the candidates, so you would provide a “station” for each candidate and place an object or a reading for each around the room.  

  • Next, create a system/handout for collecting information.  This is something the students will bring with them to each station to record the pertinent information from each place that the student visits.

  • Divide your students into the same number of groups as you have stations (eight stations, eight groups).  

  • Now, send each group to start at one of the gallery items.  Students should spend time at each station collecting information, then moving around the room to collect the rest of what they need for each station.

What are the CURRICULUM OPPORTUNITIES?

  • English:  introducing characters in a novel, collecting definitions then creating an example, literary elements definitions then finding examples in a passage

  • Science:  exploring the parts of a cell, breaking down characteristics of a species, exploring elements on the periodic table, introducing lab procedures/equipment

  • Math:  solving problems, classifying shapes, solving equations around the room to then solve a puzzle

  • Social Studies:  election candidates, important years of a particular period, different types of government

 

What are the INSTRUCTIONAL BENEFITS?

  • Kinesthetic learning opportunity

  • Highly versatile in terms of rigor - what you ask the students to DO with the information you’ve placed around the room can be at any level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.   

    • Students can classify, illustrate, synthesize, defend, and more.

  • Strategy can be used at any point in the learning process:  introducing, during, or reviewing

  • Easy to incorporate technology.  Students can scan QR codes at each station, students can use laptops/Chromebooks to complete activity based on each gallery station, etc.

 

What are the CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT concerns?

  • If not done properly, this strategy can be a disaster as far as classroom management goes.  You know your class the best, so take whatever advice I have to share and adapt it.  These are my strict expectations (they change as the year goes on, but this is what I recommend for your first one)

    • Students should have a set amount of time at each station and there should be a visible timer running a countdown.  This ensures students are aware of how much time they have to complete the task at that station and to stay focused.  *Note:  always give them LESS time than they need!  Keep the energy moving.  We can always fill in gaps later!

    • When students are at a station on the gallery walk, they are allowed to chat and confer with one another.  When the timer goes off, I have eyes on me, a hand in the air, and conversations stopped.  **DO NOT move to the next station until everyone has stopped talking, has their eyes on you and their hand in the air.

    • Give students 10 seconds to transition to the next station.  The movement to the next station should be silent.

    • When students arrive at the next station, they can resume work again, collaborating with one another as necessary.  Repeat steps above!

ADAPTATION:  If you have particularly rowdy students and you’d rather not have them moving around the room, you can keep the students stationery and pass the item from group to group.

Want this as a PDF?  Here you go! 

Check out this product in my TpT Store: 

Get your maniac high school students in lines by giving them meaningful jobs around the classroom - and better yet? Make them fill out a real-life job application!

This download includes printables for a Classroom Job Gallery Walk (a great beginning of the year opportunity for teaching routines and expectations), a lesson plan, and a job application. The documents are FULLY EDITABLE using Google Docs and Google Slides. 

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