Teach the Earth > Teaching Methods > Gallery Walk > How to Use Gallery Walk? > Step by Step Instructions

Step by Step Instructions

In this section find step by step instructions for implementing Gallery Walk and instructions for different variants of the Gallery Walk technique–Gallery Run and Computer Run. The applicability of these instructions will depend on the scope and depth of the exercise.


  1. Generate Questions
    thumbnail of step_by_step _instructions
    – Think of four to five questions to use around a central class concept. See Higher Order Thinking and Bloom's Taxonomy and Examples of Gallery Walk for guidance on writing appropriate questions. Student teams in a Gallery Walk typically number three to five. So, for a class of twenty write four to five questions. For larger classes either write more questions or repeat the same set of four to five questions, posting the same question set in different sections of the class.
  2. Write Questions
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    Source: Staples
    – Before class time, write the Gallery Walk questions on large sheets of self adhering chart, post-it paper, self supporting flip charts, whiteboards (34" x 24"), or simply write questions on pieces of normal loose leaf paper. An advantage of whiteboards is that the boards can be used over and over again. Write one question for one sheet of paper.
  3. Post Questions – Post the questions on the wall around the class, giving sufficient separation space between sheets. Alternatively, questions can be placed on desks dispersed throughout the class.
  4. Prepare Students – The first time Gallery Walk is used, give students instructions for carrying out the technique. See the Preparing Students section. If the Gallery Walk has formal oral and written evaluation, mention the important components of that evaluation. See Assessing Gallery Walk for a variety of assessment rubrics.
  5. Group Students and Assign Roles – Arrange students into teams of three to five. Provide each group with a different colored marker, pen, or crayon. Ask that each group member introduce themselves. If cooperative learning techniques will be used, assign roles like leader, reporter, monitor, and recorder. The role should be alternated between each team member. To add even more cooperative group structure, add an "emissary" function to each group. The "emissary" communicates any questions or problems to the instructor. This added role forces group members to channel their discussion through another member of the group.
  6. Begin Gallery Walk
    thumbnail of Gallery Walk direction
    – Direct teams to different charts or "stations." Upon arriving at the station, each team writes comments for the question posed at the station. To avoid chart clutter and rambling comments, encourage the recorder to write in a pithy bulleted format closest to the top of the chart.
  7. Rotate to New Station and Add Content – After a short period of time, say three to five minutes but the exact time will depend upon the nature of the question, say "rotate." The group then rotates, clockwise, to the next station. At the new station the group adds new comments and responds to comments left by the previous group. To involve all group members, switch recorders at each station.
  8. Instructor Monitors Progress – As groups rotate, the instructor nurtures student discussion and involves all group members. Be ready to a) rephrase questions or to provide hints if students either don't understand or misinterpret questions; be ready to provide instructions for those that still don't understand how to conduct a Gallery Walk.

    To spur discussion, ask questions like "Your group seems to think ..... about this issue. How would you rephrase or summarize what has been discussed so far?" or "What similarities and differences do you see between the responses you are giving at this station and what was summarized at the last station?" For a more complete list of questioning strategies, see the "Informal Evaluation" section of Assessing Gallery Walk. On a personal level: encourage developing ideas and praise insight. Couch criticism constructively.
  9. Return to Starting Point – Teams continue to review the answers already contributed by previous groups, adding their own comments. This procedure continues until groups have visited all stations and return to the station at which they started. Instruct students to record their original (starting) question and to sit down in their teams to begin the "Report Out" stage.
  10. Report Out – In the "Report Out" stage, the group synthesizes what has been written about their original discussion question. Allow about ten minutes for the group to synthesize comments. The "reporter" chosen earlier, summarizes the group's comments with the help of other group members and makes an oral presentation to the class using the blackboard or on an overhead projector. The oral report should not exceed five minutes in length. Alternatively, students can write a written report composed either individually or as a group.
  11. Gauge for Student Understanding – During "Report Out" stage, the instructor reinforces correctly expressed concepts and corrects for misconceptions and errors. What, for example, did students seem to readily understand? What did they find difficult and how can I adjust my teaching to accommodate students?

Variants of the Gallery Walk Technique

  1. Gallery Run – "Gallery Run" is a sped up version of "Gallery Walk." The questions posted at each station are lower level questions involving knowledge or comprehension on Bloom's Taxonomy. Such questions as "list the impacts of increase ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth," or "what are the main characteristics associated with spreading, converging, and transform plate boundaries" typically don't need as much discussion and debate as more open ended questions like, "make recommendations for a new subdivision location based on soil, bedrock, topographic, and zoning maps. Consequently, because answers are more concrete, students don't need to spend as much time discussing questions present at each station. To avoid groups from filling in all possible answers at a station, "run" groups through stations at a much quicker rate. This allows subsequent groups to contribute new material. The "report out" stage can still involve the use of higher order thinking skills when groups synthesize and evaluate the material summarized on their charts.
  2. thumbnail of students sharing computer
    Source: Burke High School
  3. Computer Tour – "Computer Tour" is carried out the same way as a "Gallery Walk" except the question or image to be discussed at each station is pictured on a computer rather than a sheet of paper posted on the wall. The advantage of this approach is that images for discussion can quickly be posted. The disadvantage is that this technique can only be used with smaller sized classes due to the limited physical dimensions of most computer labs.

  1. Image Source: Burke High School, 2004. English class, http://www.ops.org/burke/02english/images/pic03.jpg accessed 15 November 2004.
  2. Image Source: Staples, 2004. Post-It Tabletop Easel Pad, White, http://www.staples.com/Catalog/ accessed 15 November 2004.

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