I don’t know about you, but my middle schoolers can be a tough bunch to keep still. While a hands-on activity at their desk will suffice sometimes, I have found that getting them up and moving can make a huge difference! When I’m looking for a quick and easy way to get students moving, I always create a gallery walk activity.
What is a Gallery Walk Activity?
A gallery walk is when students walk around the room, moving from activity to activity, in order to perform a task, answer questions, or make observations. The tasks within the gallery walk are clearly marked. Typically, teachers tape them to the walls, but you can also lay them out on desks and tables.
How do you Create a Gallery Walk with Task Cards?
The easiest and quickest way to put together a gallery walk activity is with task cards! It’s so easy that if I notice students looking restless, I can quickly put it together during the warm up. If I need a quick assignment to follow a short lesson, I turn to the gallery walk activity.
First, pick a set of task cards you want to use. For a gallery walk activity, you can pick many types of task cards. Typically, task cards have 24-32 cards. Depending on the size of your class, you might want to place the cards individually around the room (one person per card) or group some cards together (for pairs or small groups).
Then, I use painter’s tape to display the cards on the walls around the room. I place them in order because students will be moving in order around the room. Make sure you leave some room between the cards, so students aren’t cramped up together when walking around.
Then, assign each student, pair, or group a number to start with. They will stand near that card to begin, and move clockwise or counterclockwise around the room.
Lastly, set a timer for one minute to three minutes (depending on the length or amount of questions). When the timer goes off, students will move to the next card or group of cards.
As students are moving around the room, have them record their responses in a notebook or on a piece of paper. At the end of class, you can review the answers with students. This cuts down on grading and gives you a quick way to assess what students know!
Task Cards for your Gallery Walk
You can always create your own task cards, but sometimes you just need something quick! I have several sets of task cards specifically for middle school science, each with 24 cards. You can also print them 4 to a page or 1 a page, which is perfect for a gallery walk activity.
Thermal Energy and Heat Transfer – Assess students’ knowledge of conduction, convection, and radiation with these cards.
Pure Substances and Mixtures – Review topics like pure substances, elements, compounds, mixtures, and solutions with these task cards.
Changes in States of Matter – Help students become pros at states of matter, kinetic theory of matter, thermal energy, and more.
You can explore all the science task cards below.
Want to sample my middle school science task cards? Grab the Science Task Card Freebie here! You’ll get a taste of all my different physical science task card sets, so you can pick the best one for you.