Newsela Gallery Walk for Elementary Students

Gallery Walk enables students to move throughout the room as they view and respond to images, quotes, and texts
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Gallery Walk Overview
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About This Strategy

A Gallery Walk is an engaging strategy for students to use as they move throughout the room, reading and responding to text. The teacher posts images, quotes from the text, or questions about the article on chart paper around the room, and groups of students rotate from one station to the next to discuss the different prompts and share their responses in writing with one another. A Gallery Walk allows the students to see different points of view and "hear" several voices through the written conversation. Students can support one another as they reflect on the key ideas of the article, and they can respond to what their peers have written. A gallery walk can be used as either a pre-reading tool to build background knowledge about a topic or as a post-reading response strategy.

Before Reading Implementation Steps

Teacher Preparation and Planning: 

  1. Choose a Newsela Text Set related to the current unit. Newsela PRO users may choose to modify the Write Prompt so that it connects to the Gallery Walk prompts, while non-PRO users may ask students to respond to the Write Prompt on paper.

  2. In this strategy, the Gallery Walk is used as both a pre-reading and post-reading activity. A pre-reading Gallery walk serves to activate students’ prior knowledge, to expose students to topics and themes of the Text Set, and to engage the students. To prepare for the pre-reading Gallery Walk, select images that relate to the topic that students will read about, short articles or headlines that students can read to build their background knowledge, or select sentences or sections from the article that students will read. Display those images, articles/headlines, or text on chart paper around the room. Make sure that each piece of chart paper has only one image, article/headline, or text for students to engage with at that station.

  3. Determine how students will respond to the image/headline/text at each station. For example, students could respond to general sentence stems, or teachers could have specific questions that relate to each prompt. A sample graphic organizer containing “I notice, I wonder, I predict” sentence stems is included in the resources below. If using this organizer, teachers may ask students to complete one (or possibly two) of the sentence stems per station.

Student Preparation: 

  1. Post the prompts throughout the room, and be sure to number each station.

  2. Explain expectations to students so that they understand how to rotate to each station -- whether they will rotate freely whenever they are ready or on a certain schedule or whether there will be a signal.

  3. Have students engage in the pre-reading Gallery Walk. The teacher may want to debrief or discuss the Gallery Walk as a class before moving on to reading.

  4. After students engage in the Gallery Walk, have them debrief in small groups or as a whole class to share out their initial thoughts about the topic or to share what they learned or discovered about the topic.

During Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Assign the Newsela article or Text Set. When creating the assignment, decide whether to provide it at the Newsela Recommended reading level for each student or adjust the reading level to a particular grade for all students.

  2. Introduce the reading tasks. Explain that students will read articles from the assigned Newsela Text Set. 

    • Newsela PRO Users may ask students to annotate while they read as follows:

      • Highlight new information that you learn about the topic in green.

      • Highlight things that you have questions about in red.

      • Highlight any unknown words in yellow.

    • Non-PRO users may ask students to take notes on a graphic organizer.

  3. Students will read the assigned Newsela article or Text Set and take notes according to the teacher's directions, either using Newsela Annotations or a graphic organizer that asks them to share their learnings. A sample graphic organizer is included in the resources below.

After Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Prepare a Gallery Walk for students to complete after reading the assigned Newsela articles. While the pre-reading Gallery Walk helped students activate prior knowledge, this Gallery Walk will help students to reflect on and respond to the articles that they have read. There should be about one station for each group of three students. For each station, the teacher will write a statement or question related to an article from the Text Set on a large piece of chart paper. Another option would be to do an Electronic Gallery Walk. This may be an activity for times when teachers do not have many stations. See the resources below for an example slide template that could be used, and be sure to watch the video at the top of this strategy to learn more.

  2. Upon arriving at a station, the group should discuss the prompt and then formulate an answer. One of the group members will then record the group's response on the chart paper. Students should read through the responses from any other groups that have already visited that station and may add to what those groups have said or ask follow-up questions.

  3. After students have visited each station, they may take some time to go back to look at the responses that groups after them wrote. The teacher may also facilitate a whole-class discussion.

  4. Students will then reflect in writing on the process. Teachers could pose a specific question based on the topics and themes of the Text Set, or they might allow students an open-ended response. Such a response could ask students to reflect on something that they learned through reading the articles or questions that the articles may have raised for them.

    • Newsela PRO users may ask students to complete this reflection as the Write Prompt. 

    • Non-PRO users may ask students to record their responses in a journal or on notebook paper.

Recommended Newsela Texts or Text Sets

MAX6: Endangered Species

  • Grade Level: 3-6
  • Content Area: Science

Branches of Government

  • Grade Level: 4-6
  • Content Area: Social Studies

Math in the Real World

  • Essential Question: Why learn math?
  • Grade Level: 3-6
  • Content Area: Math

Questions to Consider

  • How will you have students rotate from one station to the next? You will definitely want to consider this ahead of time. If all students are participating in the Gallery Walk at the same time, you may want to set a timer and give each group a certain number of minutes at each station. If some students will do the Gallery Walk while other students work on other tasks, you may tell the students that they can move to the next station as soon as they are ready. 

  • Is the Gallery Walk something that students may need to reference later on in the unit? If so, you could leave the chart paper hanging so that students could refer to it later on if needed.

Teacher Tips

Sarah Bayer
Newsela Master Teacher
  • Give each group a different colored marker (or different colored sticky notes) with which to respond to the prompts for the Gallery Walk. Using different colors can help you see how each group responded. That way you can follow up with certain groups about any misconceptions if needed. 

  • During the Gallery Walk, you may circulate and participate as well. You may notice that a certain prompt is causing groups some difficulty, so you may add your own thoughts to that prompt. You may also choose to ask follow-up questions to the statements that other groups make and begin a written conversation. You may even want to focus on a group or two if you see that they are struggling with some of the prompts.