Graffiti Art Lesson Plan I
Developed by Jinny Nieviadomy, enhanced and maintained by Art Crimes.
Lesson 1: Introduction
Examine sources of ideas and make connections between ideas and visual expression
- Students will develop an awareness that art is present in every aspect of their lives.
- Students will learn that art appears in many forms in their everyday life.
- slide projector
- children's books
www.art.com - Christo, Keith Haring artist search
Have students brainstorm how art can be public and available for everyone to see, or forms of public art. The obvious ones students may come up with are sculptures, murals, but how about store signs, billboards, book illustrations, playing cards, stamps, drink and food labels, graffiti, and art purposely constructed in a public place (installation art) such as Christo's fabric installation pieces, Keith Haring's subway art.
Show students slides or images from books, or the internet that display such ideas. Discuss some background information or brainstorm what possible influences the artists may have had for their ideas.
Discuss if they see these works as art or not?
Students will be evaluated on the following by using observations and anecdotal records.
- contribution to class discussion
- paying attention
- listening to other's ideas and thoughts
Lesson 2: Typography
- Interpret ideas and experiences and express ideas visually using a variety of processes and materials.
- Develop their understanding of ways that people affect and are affected by the visual environment.
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Independent Learning
- Technological Literacy
- Students will develop skills in image-making by recording and manipulating their observations of the world around them
- Students will develop an awareness of the many possibilities available for pursuing future learning in the arts
- Students will continue to determine and explore appropriate media, technology, forms and methods for visual expression
- logo examples
- type face and font examples
- business cards
- photograph of store signs
Books, magazines, websites about:
- sign painting
Have students find definitions for typography and typographer. Show examples of typography, fonts, logos, and business cards... discuss how the font style reflects the word.
There are many activities that can extend from this lesson. You may choose to do one or two or all in a sequence.
1. Have students create individualized and personalized alphabet. I encourage students to stay away from block and bubble letters unless they add colour, texture or value. They could create the alphabet with a theme, pattern or design.
2. Have students do a contour drawing of objects, an animal, sports player... instead of using pencil crayons, markers, paint... have students fill in areas with various coloured and styles of font taken from magazines and newspapers.
3. Have students create a logo or store sign for a business of their choice. Hair Salon, Sports Store, Billiards, Arcade... are a few that they could have fun with. Older students could come up with their own business and name but for younger ones to help get them started the teacher may want to prepare them and have them draw from a hat.
4. Have student create their own personal business card. This activity may be done on a computer program such as print shop explosion...
Evaluation can consist of a checklist on the student's use of the principles of design (balance, rhythm, emphasis, variety, proportion, unity) for each project as well as their class effort and creativity/originality.
Lesson 3: Language Art
Examine sources of ideas for art making, make connections between ideas and visual art works, and generate ideas for personal expression
Explore connections between ideas and the elements of art and principles of design.
Critical and Creative Thinking
- Students will develop an understanding of how visual artists use symbols and words to convey meaning
- Students will examine how visual images are used to convey meaning to written language
- Students will make connections between the elements of art, the images, techniques and meaning conveyed in the art work
- large drawing paper
- oil pastels
- samples of language art
Cook, Ande. Art Starters: 50 Nifty Thrifty Art Activities. 1996, Davis Publications, Inc.
Have students choose a word. They must visually depict the word so that the image of the letters drawn, directly relates to the word. Some easy examples may include hot and cold. For example: if the word was hot; students could have the letters appear as if they were on fire or flames, if the word was cold students could use snowflakes, icicles to create the letters of the word.
If students are having trouble with a word you could have them draw words from a hat. Words that may work well are hairy, barbed wire, slime, tool, root, machine, pencil, wind, waves, tree, candy...
They can lightly sketch the word on the paper and continue to incorporate their images to the word. Letters should be evenly spaced and filling the paper.
A rating scale or rubrix may be used for the following criteria:
- spatial relationships
- principles of design
- elements or art
- use of class time/ effort
Lesson 4: Tag It
Understand the functions of visual art and examine how it mirrors and influences society and individuals
Continue to develop an understanding of the work of various artists and the context in which their art was created
Demonstrate critical thought and support interpretations and opinions when responding to visual art
- Personal and Social Values and Skills
- Independent Learning
- Students will examine environmental, historical and social factors that influence graffiti artists and their work
- Students will examine how artists' views about visual art have changed to now accept graffiti as an art form
- Students will continue to develop an understanding of various issues and concerns of visual art
- Students will demonstrate a tolerance for diversity of ideas and artistic style and respect informed opinions that differ from their own
- 11 X 14 paper
- oil paint
- air brushes (optional)
- spray paint (optional)
- various tips (optional)
- broad tip markers (optional)
New York City Graffiti @149st
Art Crimes: Interviews, Articles, and Research
Art Crimes: Best Grafiti Sites
Most searches for graffiti will get you to some really interesting stuff but the images and articles above will give you a good start.
- If you have an opportunity to use people resources, a great starter to this lesson would be to have a graffiti artist come into the classroom to talk about their art, how they got started, influences, materials, techniques, and vocabulary terms used in graffiti culture.
- Another good approach to grab student's attention is a slide presentation incorporating images and information from the above websites.
- Lead a class discussion on classifying graffiti as art. Have students record their impression and why they believe it is or is not art. Have a group discussion on the elements of art most present in graffiti and the principles of design. Discussion could also include why the graffiti culture came about, surfaces it is done on and how that is connected to issues, function and purpose of the art.
- Have students each come up with their own tag name or nickname or their real name. Creating a rough copy of their design first on paper the students may then redo the design onto canvas. If someone is available, give a short mini lesson to older students on how to use an airbrush and the different techniques.
Students will be evaluated using a rubrix focusing on the elements of art and principles of design as well as creativity and originality. Anecdotal records may also be kept on any risk taking, challenges, problem solving and changes students went through to come up with their final product.
Lesson 5: Extensions
Possible extensions to this unit would be to:
- Create a class mural/community mural with a local graffiti artist. Issues that could be a possible focus are earth day, national aids awareness week, or elimination of racism.
- Reporting on an artist that has influences in graffiti or using text and creating an artwork in the similar style. Some artists that could be looked at are:
- Art Crimes: Featured Artists
- Debate or historical paper on graffiti as an art form or vandalism
- Role drama putting students in roles of public community members, store owners, law enforcement, graf artists with a topic of art or vandilism discussing pros, cons, art or vandalism
Please use and share this lesson plan freely, and feel free to modify it, correct
it, and / or send in your own. We'd like to support teachers in their
effort to bring graffiti art into many kinds of classrooms by sharing
plans to make it easier to get started. Thanks again to Jinny Nieviadomy for
creating this first one.
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