Arts & Activities Magazine - Why teach graffiti in your classroom
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propoganda graffiti, Graffiti From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Graffiti (singular: graffito) is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.[1] Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate
wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.[2] In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In
most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based
upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements.[3] Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.
Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form
whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction, modern style graffiti, stencil graffiti emerges, Early New York subway graffiti, graffiti pictures, graffiti shop, graffiti store, bombing, tag,
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and outline graffiti, easy to draw 3-D letters,, Graffiti: Reaching Out to At-Risk Youth , graffiti workshop, graffiti diplomacy, urban design, urban spaces, urban arts, graffiti laerning book,calligrafitti, letter stroke,letterinbg bible,graphic designer, art in th streets, Banksy,
decorative flourishes,designing words,construction of alphabets,designaholic, uppercase and lower case letters,hand styles,chjolostyle, gang ghraffiti, philly print hand Can Graffiti ever be considered art?,Art Is Not A Crime!!!,
graffiti diplomacy
eager ambitions and expected all my middle-school students to want to be in that classroom as much as I did. The
administration asked me if I could "get the kids hooked on art." That's exactly what I planned on doing.

Upon meeting each class, and introducing them to the art room, I asked what they would like to learn in art class. They
bombarded me with great ideas: fashion design, painting, clay ... Then, one child raised his hand and said he wanted to learn
how to create graffiti. I added it to my list, but was thinking to myself that it was far too controversial for me to actually teach.

Later, as I worked on final lesson preparations for the semester, I looked again at the word "graffiti" on my fist. I began
researching it and started to look at it with a child's eye: It's colorful, it's fun and it can be used to get important messages
across. I then prepared a lesson, to which I have made many improvements over the years and has served me well.

THE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION to get across was that we were looking at graffiti as an art vs. graffiti as vandalism. I showed
them a PowerPoint I created with several examples. We discussed that it is art when created on a surface that we have
permission to use. I discussed how some of the first paintings were done on cave walls, and that even Leonardo Da Vinci's
The Last Supper was painted on a wall. This opened a discussion on murals and frescos.

I told them that we were studying our graffiti as art, not as vandalism, so it did not need to be put on a wall. As a class, we
looked at the technique that went into creating the letters. We studied examples of graffiti, with an artist's eye. We discussed
color, shading and creative letter manipulation. Students were fascinated. To this day, I've never presented a lesson that
gets kids as excited to create as this one did (and still does).

After viewing examples, I made sure each student could make a bold letter. I told them to print a capital letter on their page
and outline it (for those who cannot visualize how to make bold letters). Then, together we worked on how to create shadows
for those letters. Once the students figured out how to add a shadow to a standard bold letter, we discussed how to
manipulate that letter into a graffiti font.

letter--they need to add to it. We started with the top, and changed the shape, then the bottom piece(s) of the letter. If the
letter had a center piece, it also had to be changed. Once they mastered changing their letters, they worked on adding a
shadow to it.

FOR THE ASSIGNMENT, students chose a word (not a name) with five letters or more. A shorter word would be too easy.
They had to make sure that some part of their design touches each edge of the paper. They also needed to draw one letter
backwards. Finally, when it was time for them to color each letter, each needed to have five colors in it.

The students worked on their projects for about a week and the outcome was amazing. When I displayed them on the
bulletin boards outside the art room, they captivated the entire student body. Passers-by stopped in awe of what the art
students created. And, I heard many of them say, "I want to take art!" That's when I knew I had accomplished the goal I first
set out for--to get students to love art.

"Graffiti-Style: Text Warp" - by Stephanie Syrakis
Lake Gibson Middle School in Lakeland, Fla.
"To this day, I've never presented a lesson that gets
kids as excited to create as this one did (and still does)."
If you are interested in learning how to draw your own graffiti, go to our graffiti lessons page and explore the wide
assortment of free techniques we offer to help you create your own graffiti letters.
Order at HERE and HERE
"Why Write When  
You Can Tag  
Second Edition"
to learn to draw
your own tags!
Learn To Draw a Graffiti Master Piece - Instructional Graffiti Book
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