Using a Graffiti Wall

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Aug. 13, 2019, 8:28 a.m.

Graffiti walls are simple to do, but can illustrate complex thinking. I ran across an article entitled "20 Ways to Teach With Graffiti Walls" on Twitter. The ideas in the blog go so well with my goal of making learning visible! Using words and/or graphics, student can share thinking and see their classmates' perspectives. This could be in a station, a center, or to start or finish class.

My two favorite ideas from the blog are:

1. Have students create a graffiti wall to tell about themselves.

The learning target would be:

  • I can describe myself in words and pictures.

Success Criteria:

Did I include information about:

  • when and where I was born?
  • what I was like as a baby or young child?
  • where I have lived?
  • where I see myself living when I grow up?
  • what I like and why I like it?
  • what I dislike and why?
  • anything that I am into doing and why I like doing it?

2. Make it Motivational-Have an academic behavior or habit of mind for each day of the week. On a whiteboard or chart paper, have students add their thinking to the wall. For example:

  • Mindset Monday-Use a quote related to growth mindset. Ask students to explain the meaning and how they can relate it to their own life.
  • Taking Responsible Risks Tuesday-Show a picture of someone doing something daring. Have students write about the feelings of people who take responsible risks. How does it feel to try something you've never tried before? How does it feel to fail? How can we accomplish more than we think we can? We take responsible risks! Ask students to "think outside the box" about a problem. How can they face their fears?
  • Wonder Wednesday-What is the wonder of the day? Post it and see what students think they know and what questions they have. This is a great lead in to formal and informal research!
  • I think I can Thursday-What big goal are you trying to accomplish? What is your action plan? How close are you to achieving the goal?
  • Finding the Humor Friday-Post a picture or joke. Have students find the humor and show examples of the humor in their lives.

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

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Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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