Gallery Walk: Active Group Reflection and Information Gathering

This time of year I find myself facilitating vision and goal setting retreats, training programs and project oriented planning meetings with many schools and organizations. Time and time again I find the “Gallery Walk” activity a useful tool when I want to gather information on experiences, opinions and questions from group members. It is a simple and effective method for getting a group moving, reflecting and staying engaged in a topic and making sure everyone’s voice is represented. It is a helpful technique for generating a list of group input on a subject, such as solutions, goals, questions, to use as a reference later in the training or program or for goal setting.

reflective conversationsPurpose: Active Engagement, Reflection, Conversation Starter, Goal Setting Tool, Differentiated Instruction Technique

Facilitation Suggestions:

  • Tape a number of large pieces of paper spaced apart so that participants have to move around the room.
  • Label each chart with a review question, statement, or issue/problem related to academic topic.
  • Give participants markers and ask participants to move from paper to paper and write down their thoughts.
  • You might ask them to do this quietly as individuals, or have them partner up to do this to increase interaction and comfort with the process. Many groups prefer doing this in pairs to generate more discussion.
  • When the papers are full of comments, take the participants on a gallery walk or tour of the room reading and discussing their comments.I sometimes facilitate this “touring” in pairs or small groups before open the discussion up to the whole group. This can be done in pairs or small groups before opening up the discussion to the whole group.

Questions for facilitating the group discussion might include:

  • What did you notice as you read the charts?
  • Are their themes or patterns that keep arising?
  • Was there something that surprised you?

Variations: Enjoy and learn from a real gallery walk, using artwork/drawings instead of words.

Reference: I learned this activity many years ago during a vision-setting meeting with Pauline Chandler of Antioch University New England. You can find versions of this activity in a number of books including: The Ten Minute trainer! 150 Ways to Teach it Quick and Make it Stick by Sharon Bowman.

No Comments

Post A Comment