During a Gallery Walk or a Poster Walk, students get up out of their seats and circulate the room. They look at images, text and/or student work and identify what they see, think, and wonder. Similar to the experience of visiting a museum, a Gallery Walk can happen silently or be an opportunity for peer discussion and then recording of that discussion on a poster. Students can participate by responding in writing to what they see. A Gallery Walk or a Poster Walk ensures equitable participation and is structured so that students have time to think about their responses and respond to their classmates at a pace that is appropriate for each individual student. Because students capture their thinking in writing, they are able to practice important discussion moves including building on each others' ideas, asking clarifying questions, respectfully agreeing and disagreeing, and providing meaningful and actionable feedback. The written discussion becomes a classroom artifact that students can refer back to as they deepen their understanding and engage in reading, writing, and speaking activities about the same topics they explored in the Gallery Walk.
Select the images, student work, or texts that will be on display during the Gallery Walk.
Display images, student work, or texts on the classroom walls so they are easily visible to students.
Determine the viewing purpose and post instructions for students next to each image.
Decide if students will travel individually or in groups. If students will travel in groups, determine student groupings.
Distribute a graphic organizer where students will capture their responses as they circulate (this is optional, but it is an effective way to hold students accountable for their participation and critical thinking). To see a sample graphic organizer, consult the "See Think Wonder Gallery Walk Graphic Organizer" below.
Debrief students' experience with them and provide an opportunity for students to share what they saw, thought, and wondered during a Turn and Talk or whole class discussion.
To learn more about supporting students as they see, think and wonder during a gallery walk, explore the Integrating Inclusive Content and Exploring Multiple Perspectives strategies in the BetterLesson Lab.
Students can view their peers' work during a Gallery Walk, and they can provide their peers with feedback.
Display student work on the walls.
Provide students with a graphic organizer where they can capture their feedback.
Determine how students will give and receive feedback after the Gallery Walk. Consider pairing students and having students give each other Glows and Grows.
Gather students' prior knowledge and assess their current level of understanding through a pre-assessment Gallery Walk. This type of Gallery Walk works well when you are introducing a new topic or skill and you need data in order to determine your next instructional moves and how you will differentiate your instruction to meet all your students' needs.
Identify what topics and/or skills you need to assess.
Write them on posters and display those posters on your classroom walls.
Give each student a different color marker, so you will be able to to identify which comments belong to which students.
After students comment, review their comments. Identify patterns as you analyze the data and use those patterns to determine your next steps.
Students can engage in a virtual gallery walk to share ideas and give feedback.
Before having students engage in a gallery walk during distance learning, determine the purpose of the gallery walk.
If the purpose is to have students give feedback on each other's work, make sure to schedule a due date for student assignments and a way for each student to share/post assignments for the gallery walk.
Some tools that allow students to share/post assignments and solicit student feedback are padlet, seesaw, or flipgrid (tutorials for each are linked below)
If the purpose of the gallery walk is for students to generate or share ideas to build or share their knowledge during a synchronous class session, follow the following steps:
Determine whether students will engage in the gallery walk independently through using a tech tool or whether the teacher will guide the gallery walk
If students are engaging in the gallery walk independently, create a Padlet, googledoc, or googleslides (see resources below) in which students can explore links, images, resources, etc that you would like them to see during the gallery walk
If the teacher would like to guide the gallery walk, he or she could share the screen during a call and post what he or she would like the student to look at. Then, after an allotted period of time, the teacher could share a new image/video, etc. for students to explore.
Determine which tool in which students will post their gallery walk responses, such as padlet and flipgrid
Prepare questions, images, videos, etc. that you would like students to respond to during the gallery walk and post them to the tool that students will use for the gallery walk such as Padlet or Flipgrid
Note: If students have limited access to technology, they could share photos of their gallery walk responses with each other using a phone and respond to each other using text messages. Another low tech option is to use the portfolio feature of ClassDojo which students can access and post to using a phone.
Establish norms and expectations for what a gallery walk during distance learning should look like. Consult the Developing Norms for Digital Tool Use strategy linked below for guidance in co-creating norms and expectations with students.
Preview the gallery walk for students by showing them what they will see/click on in each part of the gallery walk (e.g. if in Padlet, students can click on different images or videos to watch), how they should share ideas/feedback (e.g., if in Padlet, students can respond to videos or images in writing via threaded comments, and how long they will have at each station.
Model for students how to engage in the gallery walk or consider engaging in the gallery walk with students by posting your own comments/feedback or responding to students' comments/feedback
Reserve time after the gallery walk to reflect on it gallery walk with students.
Gallery Walks are excellent tools for students with disabilities to provide them with alternative ways to engage in content to build their overall investment in their learning and increase their mastery of concepts.
Strategies like Gallery Walks require significant executive functioning skills (including focus, organization, working memory, etc.), written skills and/or verbal expression skills. In order to support students with disabilities who have difficulty in these areas, consider the following modifications:
Teachers who use Gallery Walks should be mindful of learner disability types and needs in addition to formative data when assigning partners and/or groups; this ensures that students are paired strategically to support development of mastery without increasing frustration.
Use or modify structured handouts to help students with task initiation as well as provide clear benchmarks (bolded words, bulleted lists) to assess task completion during Gallery Walks. See “Modified Gallery Walk Rubric” in the resource section below for more information.
Use visual timers and verbal reminders to help learners with task initiation and task completion when completing Gallery Walks.
For students that have disabilities that affect their verbal and/or written expression, provide additional scaffolds, such as visuals, talk stems, and/or manipulatives to support their explanations and justifications. See “Accountable Talk Stems” in the resource section below for more information.
If multiple teachers are present in a setting, consider having one teacher work in a small group of students with intensive disabilities to provide them more modeling and more frequent feedback when using a Gallery Walk strategy.
If multiple teachers are present in a classroom, careful thought should be put into co-teaching models and how they integrate into a differentiated lesson plan based on Gallery Walks. See the "How to Choose a Co-Teaching Model" and “Differentiation Within the Inclusion Classroom Model” in the resource section below for more information.
For a text-based gallery walk, teachers can provide English Learners with:
How might a Gallery Walk become a routine and procedure in your classroom? How could you use a Gallery Walk for an admit and/or exit ticket?
What scaffolds need to be put in place in order to support students to successfully engage in a Gallery Walk?
How can you make a gallery walk student-centered and allow students to take ownership in the selection of what content will be displayed?
Because this strategy requires that students silently participate, and involves moving around the room, it is helpful to rehearse the process before you actually try it in class. This helps students better understand the logistics and expectations.
Gallery Walks can be done digitally. Students can open up their work on their computer, and you can arrange their computers in different spots around the room.
One of my favorite thinking routines that pairs well with Gallery Walks is See, Think, Wonder. Consider creating a graphic organizer with three columns, and support students to first document what they see in the image/text, then what it makes them think about, and finally what questions that they have.
In developing this strategy, the resources included below were consulted.