Group Mural

  • Large pieces of blank paper
  • Markers
What Is It and Why Use It?

This strategy encourages students to work collaboratively in groups to brainstorm visual and text-based responses to a prompt. Students are encouraged to consider how line, shape, texture, and color draw attention to ideas and communicate additional meaning to the viewer. 


Begin with a discussion about how and why graffiti is used as an art form to communicate opinions about an idea or group identity. Consider how color, shape, and line function in graffiti art. Explain that today the group will respond to an open-ended prompt using words and images to share their thoughts using the style of graffiti artists to communicate their opinion.  Invite the group to sit or stand around one very large piece of blank paper on a table, floor, or taped to a wall surface and provide a large set of marker or crayons for writing. Or, divide the large group into smaller groups, each with their own piece of large, blank paper and set of markers/crayons. Ask students to work silently to use words and images to respond to the prompt. Play music while students work. After 10-15 minutes, gather around the Graffiti page/s to reflect. Or invite to students to place a word or image as a respectful response to something made by another student in a final, silent round or to add further color or detail to an image/word already on the paper.

  • What images/words stand out to you the most?
  • Are there specific words/phrases that appear on multiple pages? What connections can we make across the pages?
  • Why did this group offer these responses?
Possible Side-Coaching
  • This is graffiti; how might you use color, line and shape to show that some words have more significance on your page than others?
  • If you finished one piece, find another open white space and add another.
Possible Variations/Applications
  • Use more than one set of prompts. For example with two groups, one group answers “One thing I know about this topic is ____” while another answers “One thing I wonder about this topic is ____”
  • READING AND WRITING: Explore character and motivation: At this point in the story the character is feeling… while the other half explores A prediction I have for the story is…
  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Explore a society over time: The United States in the 1950’s… while the other half explores The United States in the 2000’s… Or,
  • SCIENCE: Explore different ecosystems: The tundra… The rainforest…
  • Invite students to silently look at the work, then each person makes a personal “tag” on a sticky note and places it on the image/word that most represents their understanding or opinion.
Source Citations