Gallery Walk Strategies for Bilingual Teachers

Gallery walk is an ideal teaching method to implement movement in the classroom. Whether you teach elementary or secondary grades, gallery walks integrate many teaching techniques.

There are many ways to use student classwork to provide feedback and encourage class discussion. With gallery walks, you can use this method to review materials, evaluate a core subject concept, or develop a depth of knowledge of learning objectives.

While gallery walks, in practice, sound ideal to encourage learning, you need to use specific planning to ensure success. 

Basics of a Gallery Walk Activity

You might use multiple teaching techniques to address various concepts. When using gallery walks, there is no difference in implementing a new method than any other.

However, using a new teaching strategy requires fundamental principles and organization. Every new teaching idea sounds fantastic in theory and someone else’s classroom.

But will it work in your class? Only you can address the success rate of a new technique with your students.

That is why you need measurable and attainable learning goals. So, use a gallery walk method when you have evaluated the learning experiences of your students.

Even if you wanted to try out the technique, consider the basics of a gallery walk.

  • A gallery walk is a kinesthetic learning activity where students walk around the classroom, providing feedback or interacting with other classmates’ work.
  • Initially, students would critique other students’ classwork and enter into a class discussion.
  • For instance, students would write their feedback on Post-It notes or a large butcher paper.
  • However, now, you can implement gallery walk for unit reviews, elaborate core subject process learning, and ELL language learning.
  • Depending on the size of your classroom, you could dedicate a section of the walls as display zones.
  • If not, you can use digital formats of classwork or other digital media.
  • One of the best parts of gallery walks is student collaboration.
  • Moving from section to section encourages students to discuss and generate questions.
  • Then, you can monitor the progress by asking questions to the group and promote deeper level thinking skills.

Ensure the success of the learning objective when you organize and plan this strategy. 

gallery walk

Gallery Walk Teaching Strategies

Developing gallery walks may seem easy and straightforward in practice, but they require planning and organization.

  • First, make sure your classroom is adequate for students to move around.
  • Do you have enough space on the walls to display posters, anchor charts, or butcher paper with classwork?
  • If you have limited space, you might want to consider a digital type of gallery walk.
  • Second, talk with students about expectations of the activity and responsibilities of classwork.
  • For instance, for lower grades, you could provide a rubric for the activity considering participation and assessment.
  • For upper classes, you might want to consider expanding the activity into a group presentation and rubrics.
  • As students work in groups, some may not collaborate or engage in the activity.
  • Ensure your students’ participation at some point with the gallery walk by using prompts or graphic organizers.

In this way, each student is responsible for jotting down their observations and feedback.

  • Later, you can use that writing for deeper level projects or essays.
  • Also, use modeling or role-play dialogue to make sure students understand a respectful way to express an opinion or feedback.
  • In this case, you might use anchor charts with sample prompts or questions.
  • Then, introduce the issues to the class and practice.
  • Similarly, repeat instructions and learning goals throughout the week that you’ll implement the gallery walk.
  • Instead of announcing the activity the same day, encourage students to be prepared for what’s to come.
  • You could use a variety of essential questions or warm-up questions to evaluate the topic and instructions.

As you prepare students for a complex activity, you also encourage student success and learning. 

Bilingual Teaching Techniques

The gallery walk techniques are helpful for students to interact and engage with other classmates. More importantly, dual immersion or bilingual students benefit from gallery walks.

One reason is language learners acquire different language skills from peers as they transition from station to station. For example, if you’re addressing learning Spanish sight words or reading practice, you could use a gallery walk to show specific terms, pronunciation, and context reading.

Also, native speakers would model the pronunciation of words to ELL students.

Language Skill Support

Another way to use a gallery walk in a bilingual classroom is to use writing prompts with “I” statements. Including starter sentences or questions that students need to answer with “I” reinforces the need to use specific vocabulary and most likely annotation from reading.

Other examples could include a short reading passage, describing photographs, or videos. You can also use the learning experience from gallery walk activities for future guided reading practice.

In each situation, generating various ways to see a word or phrase in context is more valuable than using flashcards. While using students’ classwork is essential in learning from each other, some students feel vulnerable about sharing.

Especially for foreign language learners, they might feel reluctant to provide their work. In such cases, use photographs or a collaboration project. Paste them onto poster board or butcher paper.

Then, encourage students to work together to answer specific teacher-directed questions. In this way, they feel part of the group and makes sure that students participate in their own learning experience. 

Gallery walks are innovative ways to encourage students to move from station to station and provide feedback. This activity inspires one student to captivate the curiosity of others.

By learning from each other, students collaborate to develop ideas that can drive to more questions and deeper thinking levels. In this metacognition exercise, students engage in more than learning.

They interact with their in-depth learning process, which further supports language and reading skills. 

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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