Understanding Migration: A Gallery Walk is an introduction to the questions and themes that are part of the experience of human migration. To extend this lesson, you might focus on a particular case of migration or intentionally compare and contrast multiple migration stories to reveal the continuities and changes across experiences.

Essential Questions:

  • What do people experience as they migrate from one place to another?
  • In what ways are human migration stories similar and different from one another?
  • What do experiences of migration reveal about human nature?

Learning Goals

This activity is designed to reinforce the following learning dispositions:

  • Inquire with care, nuance, and respectful curiosity about migration.
  • Reason with carefully-treated and diverse sources of evidence.
  • Recognize the inequities between different migration experiences, including understanding one’s own position and perspective about the inequities between different histories/experiences of migration.


  • Students will need access to the questions from the Re-Imagining Migration Learning Arc. 
  • Use the sources we have collected here for the Gallery Walk activity.

Teaching Activities:

  1. Introduce the Re-Imagining Migration learning arc and focus on the questions in the understanding migration section.
  2. Ask students to review the questions in this section and identify one question that particularly interests them. Consider discussing this using a think-pair-share thinking routine.
  3. After discussing student responses in a whole group, ask students to view the documents you have selected for the gallery walk. (instructions on how to set up the gallery walk can be adapted from this Facing History and Ourselves teaching strategy).
  4. Instructions for the gallery walk:
    1. Spend 15/20 minutes viewing a range of sources from the gallery walk.
    2. Select a document/quotation that helps to answer one of the questions from the learning arc.
    3. Be prepared to share the quotation and explain how it connects to the learning arc.
  5. In small groups or as a whole class, ask students to share the quotation they selected and explain how they connect it to one of the questions from the learning arc.
  6. Comparing Stories: Reflecting on Continuity and Change. We like to use the following Project Zero Thinking Routine to structure this discussion. Remember that this is an excellent opportunity to explore differences in agency, equity, and power. 
    1. How were the stories you encountered the same?
    2. How were they different from each other? 
    3. What do you gain by comparing them?


  • Use student answers to the final prompt to assess their understanding lesson and their progress toward developing the learning goals outlined above. Adapt your approach to following lessons based on the responses your students share.


  • You might ask students to work individually or in groups to create a found poem that represents their understanding of the experience of migration. Ask them to use words or phrases from the documents you used in the gallery walk. Instructions for a found poem activity can be accessed here.