Environmental Science Gallery Walk
On the first day of class, students in group go from poster to poster and write environmental issues that they consider important in normal gallery walk fashion, with about 2 minutes per poster. The posters have a topic ("the atmosphere," "glaciers," "Lake Michigan," etc.) and a few posters. When they return back to their original poster, they choose one point that they think is interesting or especially important and present it to the class.
Students rely upon their and their group's prior knowledge and experiences to determine environmental issues.
Students reflect on others' responses and often edit or build off of these responses.
Students examine multiple scales of environmental issues (local to global, single organism to full biome, etc.)
Students synthesize, or at least rank, all the information on the poster to present a single major point to the whole class.
Context for Use
I used this in a 50-60 person lecture class, so there were about 5-6 students per group, which is probably the upper limits of student participation, but it could easily be done in a smaller class. In a bigger class, I would suggest making multiple gallery rotations to keep the groups reasonable.
Each group went to each poster for 2 minutes and wrote environmental issues on it, which included adding new issues or editing/augmenting others issues. Finally, major points were presented to the class. The total time devoted to this activity was about 35-40 minutes, including getting them in and out of their seats and putting their names on their original posters.
Description and Teaching Materials
- Easel paper or poster-size paper
- Relevant pictures
- Markers (preferably a specific color for each group)
- Space for students to walk around in
Physical Setting: I set up 10 posters around a large lecture hall. Each poster had a separate topic on it. Some topics were global-scale, like the Atmosphere and Oceans. Some were just very general, like Rivers, Forests, Cities, Farms, and Glaciers. Some were place-specific, like California, Alaska, Lake Michigan (we're 3 miles from the lake).