Enlightenment Era Gallery Walk Ideas

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

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

There was a time during world history in which dramatic things were happening in art, science, and politics. An Enlightenment Era gallery walk will give your students the perfect opportunity to learn about this time period.

Enlightenment Era Gallery Walk

A gallery walk gives students an opportunity to engage in lively discussions with each other. You'll set up a variety of artifacts around the classroom, and your students will wander around and examine the artifacts. They gather in small groups and discuss the items you've displayed.

The Enlightenment era is a wonderful choice for a gallery walk. There are numerous artifacts that you can consider using. As you arrange your gallery walk, try using the following ideas and discussion questions to engage your students.


The Enlightenment period is known for its advances in philosophical thought. You can use quotes from some of the most prominent philosophical minds as artifacts in your gallery walk.

Here are examples of a few quotes that may be worth considering:

  • ''Thus we may conceive how words, which were by nature so well adapted to that purpose, came to be made use of by men, as the signs of their ideas.'' from John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • ''I do not wish them women to have power over men; but over themselves.'' from Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women
  • ''We should be considerate to the living; to the dead we owe only the truth.'' by Voltaire

Discussion questions:

  • What do you think these quotes mean?
  • Which quote do you think is the most important for modern times?


During the Age of Enlightenment, there were dramatic advances in science and technology. Artifacts and quotes relating to these areas will work well for your gallery walk.

Consider the following:

  • Drawings of inventions like the steam engine and the hot air balloon
  • Brief descriptions of the developments in medicine, electricity, and biological taxonomy
  • Quotes from pro-science and anti-science thought by James Hutton, James Watt, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Discussion questions:

  • How do you think these inventions changes people's lives?
  • Which development do you think is the most important? Why?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the quotes about pro-science and anti-science? Why?


The Enlightenment Era is when the foundations of democracy really became more widely known and discussed. There are several different options that you can include as you make your gallery walk.

Consider the following:

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