Street Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about street art and begin debating the social and intellectual value. They will get to create their own art and will be asked to critically reflect upon their experiences.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the history and significance of street art
  • Appreciate the methods and processes of street art
  • Critically discuss the value of street art through both debate and writing


120 - 180 minutes

  • Note: You may choose to cover this material over two class periods. A possible option would be one class period for the class discussion and planning of the street art and the second class period for its execution.

Curriculum Standards


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.


Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.


  • Printed copies of Street Art: Definition and History and Lesson Quiz
  • Slides or printed images of spray-painted street art in various styles
  • Spray paint
  • Cardboard and exact-o knives for making stencils
  • A public space that allows graffiti


  • Ask students to define street art based on their pervious knowledge/experiences. Write their answers on the board.
  • Hand out printed copies of Street Art: Definition and History.
  • Ask a student to read aloud the first two paragraphs of ''What is Street Art?'' - stopping at ''. . . the image all over a surface to make a statement.'' Ask students to discuss the following questions:
    • Does this change our ideas about what street art is/is not?
    • What are the ultimate goals of street art?
    • What forms of street art are you familiar with?
  • Ask a student to read aloud the remainder of the section ''What is Street Art?'' Ask students to discuss the following questions:
    • What makes street art, art?
    • What's the line between vandalism and art? Is there a line?
    • Is the concept of breaking rules an important part of street art? Why or why not?
    • Can things like vandalism be seen as acceptable if it's for art? Why or why not?
  • Select a handful of students, and ask them to read aloud the sections ''History of Street Art'' and ''Lesson Summary, '' changing the reader by paragraph. Ask students to discuss the following questions:
    • Are there any street artists that you are familiar with?
    • Why is street art so associated with high-population urban centers? Does the meaning of street art change in an area with a lower population?
    • How do we imagine that social rules/values play into the definition/interpretation of street art? How does street art enforce, challenge, or react to American social values?
  • You can test student understanding with Lesson Quiz

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