GRAFFITI INITIALS / Street art~ Year 3-4

When looking at Street at with students, there are some interesting discussions about graffiti and street art and the fine line between the two. Of course there is much street art that is done with permission or on commission, but some graffiti (not done with permission) can be powerful art too! And then of course there is the graffiti that is only considered vandalism because people don’t appreciate it as art.

We looked at the different styles and types of graffiti / street art including tags (nick name or initials), a throw (still using a nickname or word, but often done with block or bubble letters that are coloured in), a ‘piece’ (like a throw, but usually with more colour), a ‘piece’: (more time spent on the visual conventions of the design including overlapping letters in a style like wildstyle, bubble or block letters adding dimension to the lettering to give it more form, like shadowing, and colour graduation and combination); and stencils which the artist (looked at Banksy’s work) has pre-made a cut out to spray over onto the surface. (see Banksy Stencil post)

The students did a Seesaw activity to review terminology so they could match the terms with some some graffiti & street art images.

Using just their initials, students drew a tag, then explored thicker lettering styles, before deciding which one to use for their (master)’piece’.

A background of a brick wall was printed using foam blocks, and a large “dripping paint blob” was cut out to go under the letters. The lettering needed to be slightly overlapped or connected, outlined, have dimension added in the way of shadow lines and colours chosen to contrast the paint blob.

Lesson plan contains links to Victorian Curriculum, learning intentions and success criteria, rubric for student self assessment, links to useful youTube videos for the class, lesson steps and activities with photo examples, display photos of different types of graffiti (taken by me!) with explanation, and link to an online graffiti maker for early finishers.

Stencil Printing with Banksy motif: Street Art lesson- Year 3/4

The students loved learning about English graffiti artist Banksy and his stencil work. We were working on a unit about graffiti and street art and whether we think it is vandalism or art. The children learnt that while painting on public or private spaces is illegal, many thought if it was appealing and colourful or well drawn it could be classed as art. Banksy’s art is definitely appealing and very well executed, along with being thought provoking or conveying a message. We looked at how artists can use a stencil to very quickly spray a picture onto a wall or surface.

First we experimented with patterned stencils using rollers to print onto paper.

I used a scalpel knife to cut some famous Banksy designs onto A4 plastic sheets to use as a stencil with black spray paint. Students could choose two of the Banksy stencils to fit onto their A3 stencilled paper. They pressed the spray button on the black spay paint can while I directed it around the stencil for even coverage. (I am lucky enough to have double doors to the outside that I could open for ventilation whilst spraying just outside the door with a couple of students at a time.)