Cold War Gallery Walk Ideas

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

The Cold War is an important part of US and world history. Use these ideas to create a gallery walk on the topic of the Cold War. As students complete the gallery walk, they discuss, reflect, analyze, and evaluate as they learn in a meaningful way.

Why Use a Gallery Walk?

A gallery walk is an instructional strategy in which the teacher posts items around the classroom and students spend time walking, looking, and discussing these items. You might include student work, discussion questions, photographs, quotes, and other materials. You'll post them around the room and allow your students to walk and discuss. At the end of your gallery walk, it's helpful to have a debrief where students share highlights from their conversations and any reflections they may have.

When learning about relatively recent events in world history like the Cold War, a gallery walk can be an especially helpful tool since you can use primary sources like speeches, eyewitness accounts, and legal documents. You can display the items around your classroom and let students wander and engage in a way that allows them to follow their interest.

Use this list of gallery walk ideas to begin setting up your gallery walk on the Cold War.

Excerpts From Speeches

There are many famous speeches from the time of the Cold War that can be a great jumping off point for exploring the different stakes that groups held. Depending on the age of your students, you can use passages from a single speech, whole speeches from several different people, or short quotes from a variety of speeches.

Consider using these speeches:

  • Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech
  • The Marshall Plan Speech
  • Joseph McCarthy's speech on communists in the state department


  • Who is this audience of this speech?
  • How are the speeches similar and different?
  • If you were listening to the speech when it was given, what would you think of it?

Newspaper Clippings

Newspaper clippings can be a great resource because it gives kids an idea of how events were being reported at the time. Frequently, we see events differently as time has passed, and it can be fascinating to be reminded of that. When you arrange a gallery walk using newspaper clippings, try to find stories from a variety of sources.

Consider these examples:

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