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Middle [6th-8th] Unit Plan

Art 7 Graffiti Tags

Created on October 14, 2013 by MrsImpey

In this unit, students learn about legal vs. illegal graffiti art and design a tag.

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10+ sessions; 40 minutes per session

By the end of this unit, SWBAT:
…Describe the symbolism in a tag.
…Name the six elements of art
…Identify the principles of art
…Explain the evolution of graffiti through history.
…Understand the importance of originality.
...Understand the difference between legal and illegal graffiti.

1. Markers
2. Airbrush machines (if available)
3. Sharpies
4. Pencils
5. Acrylic paint
6. Painting supplies
7. Sketchbooks
8. Gesso
9. Graffiti notes
10. Graffiti videos
11. Scissors
12. X-acto knives

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

Day 1: Students received a homework assignment to read two current even articles about graffiti and create a ven diagram in their sketchbook about illegal vs. legal graffiti. In class the next day, we filled out the ven diagram in the note packet based on their responses to the articles. We then did the notes about graffiti in history. I also showed students some short videos about graffiti from YouTube.

Day 2: Students received a short biography write-up about the following four graffiti artists: Keith Haring, Bansky, Taki183 and Scape Martinez. They had to read these on their own and fill out the notes portion on the artists. We reviewed these before the end of class to make sure everyone had the correct information.

Day 3: We filled out the notes about the elements and principles of art, and then the elements of a tag. We talked about what students should think about when brainstorming tag name ideas (using the notes). For homework, students had to have at least 5 tag names brainstormed.

Day 4: We finished talking about tag aspects using the notes. Students practiced drawing out their tag using the graffiti text styles (bubble, block, wild-style, 3-D, etc.).

Day 5: Students received a pop quiz about graffiti.

Day 6-8: Students completed their preliminary tag on paper using markers and air brush machines. These were cut out and taped onto a fake brick wall that was painted by the teacher to hang in the hallway.

Day 9-11: Students received their rubric back from their tag. They were asked to reflect on what they may have been missing or didn't do to their fullest potential. We applied gesso to the covers of their sketchbooks and when dry, students drew their finalized tag designs on the covers. We painted these with acrylic paint.

See attached rubrics.

The YouTube videos I pick from to show students about Graffiti:

Blog post about brick wall tags:

Blog post about graffiti homework assignment that students were given:

This turned into a very long unit. I see 7th grade students every other day and it has taken us about 6 weeks to finish this unit.

I utilized the book and workbook by Scape Martinez about graffiti:


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[5-8] Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[5-8] Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[5-8] Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks
[5-8] Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[5-8] Students analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, resources, ideas, and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art
[5-8] Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[5-8] Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry

Banksy, Keith Haring

Balance, Color/Value, Line, Shape

Acrylic, Colored Pencil, Marker

History/Social Studies