EMC² Blog

Join The #GraffitiPages Revolution!


In case you haven’t already had the pleasure to see student artwork in action: Sketchnoting can be a powerful tool in any teacher’s playbook. And Graffiti Pages are a colorful upgrade on traditional “take notes on this chapter” homework assignments. The best part is that it doesn’t require a lick of artistic ability! Simply have students take a blank piece of paper and doodle a bunch of images inspired by what all they’d learned. Really: it’s that easy. To ratchet up the challenge factor (which makes this deceptively simple technique a perfect strategy for older students!), challenge students to add a quick caption or annotation with corresponding page number from the text to help readers understand just what details, exactly, they’ve chosen to include in their creation. The end. Zero artistic ability required.

Graffiti pages take this concept to the next level by transforming once tiny sketchnotes into full-blown works of art like a spray painted mural or tattoo sleeve. The challenge here? Use the front side of an entire sheet of paper to provide an eye-catching visual creation that can help a passerby quickly make sense of a single concept blown out over the course of an entire page. For starters, you might ask students to throw in: 

  • Two big pictures (about the size of the bottom of a coffee cup), with a quick line or two of annotation or caption beneath them to help explain what we’re looking at.


  • Two giant words that sum up what the student believes to have been the biggest takeaways from the assigned reading. These letters represent those all-important main ideas, so they should be big and bold, and pop out from the rest of the smaller details!
  • Four direct quotes or lines of significance from the assigned reading — complete with the page number from which this quote was taken. And don’t forget to include the attributions for each of these items to help us know who said what!

Infinitely scalable and awesome for brain-dumping at any level. You can even ramp up the creativity by asking students to use magic markers, colored pencils or crayons in their creations to really lock in that multisensory learning. And then you can post and share everyone’s submissions in a physical or virtual gallery walk to help the class strike up a conversation about all of those big picture takeaways that the at-home reading might have inspired.

Ready to take this colorful pedagogy for a spin in your classroom? It’s infinitely adaptable for any course or content area. Spring has sprung and the world needs more color! Have a blast with this activity and be sure to share your colorful creations on social media using the hashtag #GraffitiPages or #EMC2Learning. 

We hope you’ll consider joining us as a member of our EMC² Engagement Engineer community to access hundreds of additional high-energy resources like this oneGive a click to this link for details and we’ll see you inside!

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1-8 Teacher

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