Saturday, July 9, 2011

Exit through the Gift Shop: Graffiti, Street Art

This is a polemic documentary with different viewpoints about graffiti. I used the initial scene to brainstorm the topic.  

Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings.


I. Work in pairs and discuss these questions:

1. What do you know about graffiti, street art? Do you like it?

2. Is it popular in your city?

3. Do you consider it art or vandalism?

4. What should happen to someone caught doing it?

5. How would you react if your walls were painted with graffiti without your consent?

II. Read the statements below and decide which ones you agree with and justify your answers.

1. This is kind of art, this could enhance the creativity of street painters.

2. They make a dirty environment with paintings that are not useful.

3. This is identical with crime, they should put in the jail.

4. It is definitely art and it should be celebrated.

5. It is definitely vandalism and creators should be sent to jail.

6. It is art, but there should be specific places to create it.

7. It is art, but I don't want it on my wall, thank you.

8. Some of it is art, but most of it is trash.

9. It reflects the culture of youngsters in the society.

10. I don't look at them on the walls, I just ignore them.

11. If it's art, why not put them on canvas and frame them?

III. Watch the segment below and discuss the questions.

1. What were some of the places artists created art with graffiti?

2. What do you consider art and what do you consider vandalism?

3. Should anyone be punished?

4. What were some of the risks these artists faced?

5. Should all the artists receive the same treatment by the police? Explain it.


The next worksheet was developed by my reader Alexandra Duarte, a reader from Portugal. She prepared these creative slides to lead in the topic. Thanks, Alexandra, for sharing and developing such great activities.

SLIDES - Alexandra Duarte.

Alexandra Duarte has been an EFL teacher for about 20 years, most of them at MartinhoÁrias Secondary School in Soure / Portugal. For the last 3 years she has been involved in adult teaching.


  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article and i am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

  2. Thank you for your resource! I am putting together a unit on yarn bombing and site-specific sculpture! Will use some of your questioning in relation to the movie too.

  3. Thank you. This is a great idea. I hope it works.