Can Graffiti be Used to Facilitate Learning?

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CanGraffitibeUsedtoFacilitateLearningIt may seem unusual to consider graffiti as a part of a classroom. However, this extraordinary art form has immense potential as an educational tool. Use of graffiti encourages students to stimulate and rely on the four primary approaches towards learning i.e. “observation, analysis, imagination and feeling.”  The use of symbols, shapes, colors, images and statements allow students to visualize the information and create vibrant displays of their thoughts and perceptions.

As a cooperative learning strategy, graffiti promotes the development of various learning skills (brainstorming, logical reasoning, recall of facts) and being sensitive to the views of others. It also motivates students who are creative and shy to actively participate and express their ideas.

Creating a graffiti wall:

Cover a large area of one of your class walls with butcher paper or chart paper. This will be your graffiti wall. When conducting a whole class activity, you can allot wall space for each group to create their art work. A white board or chalkboard also doubles as a graffiti wall and can be given to students to freely express their views. Markers, pens and colors are kept nearby for use.

Graffiti and learning:

Graffiti work can be effectively used as a start-up, closure or energizer activity during a lesson. The following are some ideas you can include in your lesson plan.

  • Introduce your topic and contents through graffiti. Hand out post-its and ask students to write down one thing they hope to learn from the topic. Stick these around the art work. It can then be used to summarize the teaching and to check if all the points have been covered.
  • Assign the students into small groups. At the end of the lesson, ask them to create a small graffiti, summarizing the information they have learned. Students are given five to eight minutes to discuss, decide and create their graffiti. A debriefing can be conducted at the end.
  • Graffiti writing as an assignment will be challenging and enjoyable for students. You can also encourage them to explore and use available online tools to create a digital graffiti art.
  • Each week a group is given a topic for presentation. These can be content specific or those that create a social awareness. Students can create graffiti work that explores the causes and effects of different actions and choices.
  • You can also use the Carousel technique along with graffiti.
  • Graffiti walls can add color and bring festivity to your classrooms. Students can express their creative side and also use the wall to celebrate birthdays, special days, and other significant days.

Rules for graffiti:

Lay out some ground rules that help you with managing the activity. Some of these rules may be:

  • Restraining from writing inappropriate comments or drawing inappropriate pictures on the wall.
  • Allotment of a specific time for graffiti expression. Also every student should have an opportunity to use the wall.
  • Replacing the tools after use.

Discuss here: What are some other ways teachers may use graffiti in the classroom?

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  1. […] member of my professional learning community, The Relevant Educator, who suggest I try using a Graffiti Wall.  A graffiti wall is a thinking strategy where students use pictures, powerful words, symbols, and […]


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