PLAs #2 – Gallery Walk

by / Thursday, 11 June 2020 / Published in Instruction, PLAs

Gallery walk is a highly participatory activity that can be used under a range of circumstances, and is especially good to do in a physical classroom setting. However, it’s easy to adapt to an online version using Nearpod’s slide upload feature, or to just convert slides into a single PDF file to download for each participant.02b.Gallery_Walk

The way I find best is to prepare a series of slides. In my case, with faculty, I made seven slides, each with a quote about Feedback on it. The activity is to give them a task of some kind and look over the gallery of quotes. I usually ask faculty to pick a quote that stands out, and be ready to explain their choice. This gives everyone time to look and reflect over the individual items they are looking at.

In the illustration above, the dots represent your learners. The items, in a physical space, might be taped up to the walls around the classroom. They can move in  any direction while viewing the separate items, in my case, the quotes, and they can take as much or as little time as they like viewing each item and processing it. The task sheet can have any kind of instruction that they need to do in order to complete the task. In the physical space, we do all the interaction standing up next to the item that is most significant for us.

I’ve found the flexibility of this activity to be a great advantage and it’s always led to some pretty spirited, higher order thinking based discussions.

Name: Gallery Walk

Activity type: Discussion based on a variety of items to consider.

HOTS: Learners are evaluating more than anything else. They employ critical thinking as they discuss their selection, and others’.

Grouping: This is a whole class activity, though it might be done as groups from time to time.

Online tool: I use Nearpod’s slide upload feature lets you upload a group of slides together as a scroll. Convert groups of slides together into a single scrollable PDF as an alternative.

This is the Top Ten Participatory Learning Activities (PLAs) Series. Each week, Dr. Larry Davies describes PLAs that are effective to use online. Your use of these PLAs will foster better learning and higher motivation in your learners. Each PLA contains an illustration that contains four elements:

  • The name of the activity.
  • Which one of the four types the activity is (that’s the lightbulb), including,
    • Creative/critical thinking activity (inside the lightbulb, top left – the brain);
    • Small group conversational activity (bottom left – the speech bubbles);
    • Exit activity (given at the end of a lesson, unit, or project) (top right – the exit sign);
    • Timed activity (where learners are under pressure to complete it within minutes) (bottom left – the clock).
  • Whether it’s a Higher or Lower Order Thinking Skills Activity (HOTS or LOTS) (the HOTS/LOTS lever with “the pail”).
  • A suggested grouping to maximize the benefit of the activity (the circles arranged in many ways).

Also, the description will contain suggestions for one or more online tools you can use with the PLA.

Previous blogs in this series include:

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