On Location


In this activity, students investigate the graffiti and street art culture in their own locality. They take to the streets to photograph examples of urban artists’ work which they then upload, organize and store in an online album.


In groups of 2-4 students, students should brainstorm ideas for areas to investigate and photograph. Very often, they will remember seeing graffiti somewhere but they will also need to think of the most likely places where graffiti is usually drawn e.g. subways, bridges etc. Depending on where you live, you may wish to provide them with a map of possible areas (it’s a good way of confining their search to areas you can easily visit or areas that are safe – visiting abandoned houses on the wrong side of town is not recommended!)

Encourage each group to explore a different area of the city. If necessary, allocate an area on a map for each to investigate. Some teachers prefer to give students areas to investigate that are not familiar to them, others are happy to let them investigate their own neighbourhood – there are obvious advantages to both strategies.

Each group should have one or more cameras and you will identify a student responsible for co-ordinating this phase. The co-ordinator will decide how to organise the activity and decides who should perform each task throughout the visit.

During the activity, encourage students to take notes of their impressions, emotions or any other observations as well as photographing the graffiti. At the end of the session you could organize a short debriefing in order for them to reflect on their ideas, experiences and suggestions. You have to ensure that students save their work in a dedicated album on Flickr. If you don’t have a Flickr account you will have to create one. It helps to arrange the material in separate collections: one collection/album for each urban area explored.

Time needed It depends how you organize the off-site visits.


Account Flickr at http://www.flickr.com

Digital cameras.

Camera tripod.

Hints and tips

  • You can carry out this activity during the school day or let the students complete it as part of their homework. If they are doing it as homework you must ensure that a parent or guardian accompanies them. If they are going to go out during school hours, groups should be supervised by a teacher/responsible adult whose job it is to stay in the background, ensure they’re safe and well behaved and to monitor how the activity is progressing.

  • They can carry out the activity one group at a time if this is easier to arrange.

  • Not all graffiti is suitable for students to read and study! If you have any concerns, pinpoint specific examples for them to visits beforehand.

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This post is also available in: Dutch

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