Gallery walks are a fun way of showing your creativity in class and showing it off to your peers. Gallery walks also mean that you get to crate an artwork based of your topic. The students in groups move through different stations where a question is posted for them to answer and interact and share knowledge in the process.
Gallery walks also include being creative and showing your hard work inside and outside of the clasroom.
The students of a class are divided into small groups by the teacher.
The teacher posts different open-ended questions in the form of texts or images, related to a particular context/ topic, one each in a chart paper and is fixed on the classroom walls, as in an Art Gallery. The questions are thus placed at different stations in the classroom. The questions can be framed in such a manner as to challenge the critical thinking of the students and each question is placed on the walls as to have sufficient distance between them. This arrangement helps the students to walk around from one place to another to view the questions.
Each student group is assigned to one question in the beginning of the activity and the students in the group can discuss and write their thoughts or facts or the solution to the question.
After a short, fixed period of time, the group moves to the next question. They can read and criticize the reflections of the previous group who answered that question or they can provide their own thoughts. The students write their thoughts below the contributions by the previous group who answered that question. This continues till the last question.
The teacher meanwhile observes the student participation in the activity and also give inputs to the students. The teacher can move around in the class interacting with different student groups. This activity can also be used by the teacher for formative assessment of the students.
When after walking in the classroom contributing to the solution of all questions, the groups return to the first question they faced. They will be able to view and synthesize the comments of all the groups and this activity ends when each group gives an oral presentation. The entire class can participate in the discussion and any misconceptions can be removed.
Some of the limitations of this method are the following.
A few students in the group may not actively participate in the knowledge construction. This can be addressed up to a certain extent by assigning specific roles to students in each group and then asking them to rotate the roles when they reach the next station. The teacher can also ask some evaluative questions to the students during the activity in order to bring them back to the activity.
Some students prefer to learn individually and hence may not participate in discussions. For these learners, the teacher can mention the benefits of teamwork and how it can be helpful for them in the future.
The evaluation may not be just. This issue can be addressed by the teachers by having an evaluation rubrics in advance and making the students familiar with it.