A Gallery Walk is an activity that gets students moving and sparks discussion. An official Kagan Cooperative Learning structure, this activity can be adapted for many uses and fits in well with a Comprehension-based™ approach to language teaching.
While ‘Gallery Walk’ can used to describe many different kinds of activities, whenever I refer to a Gallery Walk, this is what I mean:
- Large posters are located around the room, either posted by the teacher or by (groups of) students.
- Students walk around the room (possibly as individuals, possibly as groups) and read whatever is on each poster.
- When they arrive at a Gallery Walk station, students interact with whatever is on each poster in some way.
- After interacting with the poster, students move on to the next poster/Gallery Walk station and repeat the process until they have visited each poster in the ‘gallery’ (the room).
- Teacher leads class discussion about the contents of the gallery.
Gallery Walk uses in language classes
Here are some specific ways that I have used Gallery Walk in the past:
Get discussion flowing
As a pre-discussion activity to get the kids thinking and give the teacher something to work from when the class is not particularly talkative. See this post for more details.
Color a glyph
Before beginning, give students a coloring page that has multiple elements to color (see this post for examples). At each Gallery Walk station, post a text or image along with a question about it. Include several possible answers for each question and a color to use for each answer. As students rotate between the Gallery Walk stations, they color in the various elements of their coloring page based on their answers to the questions provided.
Compare information or ideas
As a way to come to a class consensus about something (ex: best vacation destinations, most important events from a book, problems that one could encounter in another country, etc.). You can build from individual ideas to small group ideas using the Kagan structure ‘Team Windows’, and then use the Gallery Walk to build to the class level.
- Read about Team Windows here
- Read about how I use a Gallery Walk to come up with a running dictation and then a listening assessment here.
Share work with classmates
Have individuals or groups create a product (a story, an illustration, a food–anything). Then, post the products around the room as Gallery Walk stations (maybe on posters, maybe not). Have classmates visit each station and view the product! When they do, have them record their reaction or opinion or respond to pre-determined questions about each product.
How do YOU use Gallery Walk?
What are some ways that you have used Gallery Walks in your classroom?