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How To: Gallery Walk (Story)

By Mel Murphy

What It Is:
Gallery Walk is a discussion technique in which students move around the classroom to work with multiple works of art, documents, or artifacts in round-robin fashion.

Why Do It:
Gallery walks are extremely flexible and can be planned for any length of time, from a 10-minute bell ringer to multiple days of inquiry. Artifacts and documents can be displayed on posters, on computer screens, or on Internet discussion boards. Students work independently or in small groups, which takes away the pressure of contributing to discussion in front of the whole class and allows even shy students to contribute to investigation. For instructors it’s a chance to gauge the depth of student understanding of particular concepts and to challenge misconceptions. (Source: Science Education Resource Center)

How to Do It:
Display works of art around the room, along with markers and chart paper. If you are not comfortable allowing students to make marks directly on the image, be sure to remind them not to mark on the copies of the works of art. Then have students move around the room in groups and record on the chart paper their response to the question “What does this work of art make you wonder?” After rotating through all the works of art, students should select specific questions to guide further discussion and academic inquiry.

Link Information:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC).  “What is Gallery Walk?” April 2, 2008.