Graffiti: Art or Vandalism?

Over the last week, Grade 9 Language and Literature students have completed a short unit of study on graffiti.  

First, the students viewed and read about the history of graffiti and how graffiti is used for different purposes, from marking boundaries to making political statements.  Students then undertook research to prove whether graffiti is in fact art or if it is simply vandalism.  Students then used this information in a class debate.  Some compelling arguments were that graffiti increases revenue for cities by promoting tourism and that spray paint can contain carcinogens.

Finally, students examined different styles of graffiti and created their own original work, accompanied by a rationale.  They stated the messages in their graffiti, including any symbolism used, as well what effects they hoped to achieve on their audiences.  Students shared their works and rationales with their peers.

This unit allowed students to use both creative and analytical skills, and there were opportunities for cooperative work, independent research, and oral presentation.

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