A Gallery Walk is a form of discussion that fosters student reflection and provides students a way to capture their thoughts through written conversation. Gallery walks can be formatted with paper/pencil, using chart paper, sticky notes, etc., or using a digital method. To structure a gallery walk, teachers should post interesting questions, statements, or problems for students to solve that are focused on the current unit or topic of study on chart paper around the room. Student groups are each assigned a starting point, and rotate through the statements/questions/problems on the pieces of chart paper, discussing the statement/question/problem with each other and then synthesizing their group's response and writing it on the chart paper. This strategy is an excellent way to increase student engagement through movement. Additionally, it allows for scaffolding through peer support and the open-ended nature of the prompts; there is no right or wrong answer in a gallery walk. A gallery walk can also serve as an excellent pre-writing strategy in literacy classrooms.
Teacher Preparation and Planning:
Select an appropriate text or texts for students to read and annotate in advance of the Gallery Walk to help prepare for the discussion. These texts should be related to the current unit of study. Consider selecting several texts for students to discuss in a Newsela Text Set.
Write open-ended questions or statements for students to consider during the Gallery Walk. These questions should all support students in analyzing or responding to the Essential Question or Key Learning Target of the class period. Teachers might also consider collecting key quotes from the articles for students to analyze during the Gallery Walk. Write each question, statement, quotation or problem on a piece of chart paper, and have them ready to post for the Gallery Walk.
Teachers should post the questions, statements, quotations, or problems that they've developed around the room.
Assign the article or text set.
Instruct students to annotate the text or text set as they read.
Non-Newsela PRO users can consider having students annotate by taking notes on a note-taker sheet or Google Doc.
Newsela PRO users can add assignment instructions for students to annotate for:
Evidence related to the Gallery Walk questions in YELLOW
Sections/ideas that confusing in RED
Connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world) in GREEN
Preview the Writing Prompt for students.
Newsela PRO users can add a writing prompt in Newsela that is connected to the Gallery Walk prompts.
Non-Newsela PRO users can provide writing prompts to students on paper.
Have students read the assigned article or articles on Newsela and:
The teacher should break students into groups of 3-4, and each group should be given a different colored marker. Assigning each group a different color enables the teacher to be aware of what each group is contributing and allows the opportunity to check back with students about potential misunderstandings.
Each group should select a person to be the recorder, who will be responsible for writing at each station.
The teacher should explain to students that they will have a set amount of time at to discuss and then write their response at each poster, and will need to consider the prompt on the poster, adding their response, based on the reading.
The teacher should explain that as students rotate through the stations, they should pay attention to what groups before them have contributed, and can add on to the other groups' comments.
The teacher should set timers to remind students to rotate, and should circulate the room during the activity, perhaps even engaging in the activity by posting questions or adding comments to build upon students' thoughts.
After each group has visited each poster, the teacher should initiate a whole-class discussion about how this activity will inform the next. For example, a Gallery Walk is a great way to capture thoughts for pre-writing.
As a formative assessment, students can then respond to the Writing Prompt in the Newsela article.
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A student-led Gallery Walk is organized very similarly to a teacher-led gallery walk. However, students select the questions, problems, or statements, rather than the teacher. Additionally, teachers might choose to use a Gallery Walk as a demonstration of knowledge after reading a Newsela article or Text Set.
Assign a Newsela article or Text Set.
Instruct students that as they are reading, they should be paying attention to key ideas, problems, and questions that arise in the text.
Newsela PRO users can have students annotate the article for these pieces of text evidence.
Non-Newsela PRO users can provide a note-taker sheet for students to keep track of key ideas.
After reading, students should be grouped into groups of 3-4.
Students should discuss the key quotes they've annotated.
Each group should decide on the one question, problem, or quote from their group that they find the most poignant.
Groups should record their question, problem, or quote on chart paper and post throughout the classroom.
The teacher will then structure the Gallery Walk rotation as listed above, with students responding to each others' quotes, questions, and problems.
A Digital Gallery Walk gives students more permanent access to the rich discussion that occurs in a Gallery Walk. Rather than using chart paper and markers, teacher can create a Google Slides presentation that can be shared with students after the exercise for later use.
Follow implementation steps for Gallery Walk, but instead of posting questions, problems, and statements on chart paper, create a Google Slides presentation with one question, problem, or statement on each slide.
Consider using images connected to the text on each slide to help support student thinking.
Place one device at each station location, open to a different slide.
Students will rotate through the stations, recording their discussion on the appropriate slide.
Upon completion, share the entire presentation with students. Having access to the entire Gallery Walk discussion will support students in addressing the writing prompt.
EL students benefit from extra scaffolding and language supports. Embedding these supports into the Gallery Walk strategy will help EL students be more prepared for the discussion, experience more success with the strategy, and ensures that EL students are able to practice both social and academic vocabulary.
While the Gallery Walk questions will be posted around the room, teachers can also provide a note-taker sheet to EL students so they have the questions and statements right in front of them, rather than having to transfer the language back and forth.
Newsela PRO users can add annotations to texts that will prompt EL students' thinking about the Gallery Walk questions and lead them to key pieces of text evidence.
Non-PRO users can provide a Note-Taker sheet with sentence stems to EL students to support their thinking.
Since Newsela articles are available in 5 different Lexile levels, teachers can adjust the reading level for EL students.