Eight graders at The Rashi School learned about graffiti and street artists. We viewed and discussed artwork by Banksy, Keith Haring, Shepherd Fairey, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the animated graffiti videos of David Ellis and Blu. Many of these artists express their political and social viewpoints through their artwork; for example, Keith Haring was an advocate for his community of HIV positive gay men, and Shepherd Fairey created the iconic Obama "Hope" poster.
Each student researched graffiti tags, which are artist's names or nicknames. They use them to either sign their work, or sometimes the tag itself is the work.
Graffiti-influenced art is a wonderful topic to teach to students because it allows for so much individuality and personal expression, as you can see in the examples below.