How to create a graffiti wall project for school students?

School graffiti wall in Madrid

Engaging students might be a difficult task for some educators, especially at the beginning of the school year, but have you ever thought about creating a graffiti wall project for your class?

Javier Garcia, street art enthusiast and former educator with +9 years of teaching experience, both in Spain and the US as bilingual teacher, will share with us the key points on how to engage students with an art project.

These are some of the tips that you will read within the following paragraphs:

  • General discussion & technical vocabulary introduction.
  • Think global, go local. Focus the action around your community.
  • Instructions on how to safely use all materials.
  • Work-station based project.

What are the steps to create a graffiti wall lesson plan?

Feminist street art

The school setting requires long organizing sessions, and it will be helpful for teachers to create a detailed lesson plan for the students best comprehension.

The first session should take around an hour, and it would include previously arranged questions.

Cooltourspain’s graffiti wall project starts in the following way:

1-. Students’ discussion on street art and graffiti.

student discussion

The proposed graffiti wall project starts with students discussing on their previous knowledge about the topic.

Some Costa’s level of thinking type of questions might include:

TIER 1/ Gathering type of questions:

  • Do you have any friends who paint graffiti in the streets?
  • What do you prefer, graffiti or in street art?
  • Paint a tag in your notebook in less than 30 seconds.

TIER 2 approach/ Processing:

  • What’s the difference between urban art and graffiti?
  • Could you explain why young people are interested in painting a graffiti wall?
  • Given 2 pictures, could you compare their styles and materials?

TIER 3/ Applying the topic’s information:

  • Predict the consequences that could affect street art artists if they are caught painting illegally.
  • Imagine you are Banksy for a moment, what kind of social message you would include in your artworks?
  • Defend the position of a graffiti writer that has been caught by police.

After this round of questions, allow the students to work in groups.

Distribute the class in groups of 4/5 students or in pairs, and hand in index cards that include technical vocabulary.

Encourage them to use those words to create similar questions with the Costa’s level of thinking chart.

2-. Research about the local graffiti wall projects.

paint work

Madrid paisaje urbano is a city council curated website that features street art murals around Spain’s capital.

Students should investigate about one specific graffiti wall included in the site, developing a presentation about the artwork and the artist.

The power point like document should include (but not limiting to…):

  • Artist biography
  • Artworks message
  • Its impact on the community

Allow participants to use a laptop or tablet from the computer lab. It should take no more than 2 sessions, one for research, the other for the editing process.

3-. Safety instructions

materials

Once students are familiar with the street art and graffiti industries, they should be instructed on how to properly use materials.

It is an important part, so please do not skip it from your street art lesson plan!

  • How to use spray paint.
  • Correct utilization of box cutters during the stencil process
  • Recycle procedures

4-. Hands-on, their favourite part

Children and teenagers should be pretty excited by now.

Teacher should distribute the class into 3 different workstations. The whole activity should take no longer than 2.5 hours and they would rotate among them all.

One or two assistants might be required in order to prepare the whole experience:

  • Stencil cutting process
  • Background colors
  • ‘Pochoir’

Who are the artists represented in the Madrid graffiti wall of fame?

There are many graffiti writers and crews in Madrid city. You will find that most neighborhoods have at least one hall of fame.

Probably Madrid’s most famous crews are:

  • Farlopa
  • Ron’s crew
  • Papis

We also wanted to put emphasis on the local graffiti scene.

1-. Bear TCK

MOS Madrid
Meeting of Styles Spain, Madrid 2019. Estación de Chamartín / Pic. by Oscar Guerra

This hip hop lover, skater and surfer comes from Mostoles, a dormitory town located 42 kilometers to the south of Madrid.

One of his biggest hits was to paint a 90 meters legal graffiti wall in Madrid’s natural science Museum.

He’s specialized in murals, with a technique close to perfection, and includes almost real human figures.

Bear is well known for professional graffiti services in Madrid, and respected in the artsy community.

2-. Beto Landsky

Beto

Beto (1976) has over 30 years of experience as an artist, focusing on:

  • graffiti
  • sculptures
  • tattoo

He includes colorful faces in his artworks, creating a balance between reality and fantasy.

3-. Zeta 1970

street art lavapies

Pablo Herrero (1970) is one of the most prolific graffiti wall writers in the Madrid’s scene.

His first throw-ups were done in the 90s and since then, he has developed a successful artistic career.

Zeta 1970 now sells his artworks at one of the most important Spanish art galleries, Durán.

Our opinion about Madrid’s graffiti wall

Cooltourspain believes that the city council should put more emphasis in the street art/ graffiti wall scene, allowing young artists to color the city in a legal way.

We would like to see in the near future that every neighborhood has an area dedicated for urban art.

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