Balance Graffiti | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Balance Graffiti

    What is it all about?
    • Use a Graffiti activity to help students consolidate their knowledge and understanding of the connections between substance use, addictions, and physical and mental health, protective factors, risk factors, and sources of support to enhance well-being, then share their learning through a performance.
    Curriculum Connections
    • Grade 11: C2.2, C3.3
    • Grade 12: C2.3
    How is it done?
    • A Graffiti activity is a creative brainstorming process that involves collecting the wisdom of all or most of the students in a class.
    • Post chart paper around the space with a different concept posted on each paper. Each piece of chart paper serves as a “Graffiti Board”. Concepts might include:
      • Grade 11
        Mental Health
        Safe Choices
        Addictive Behaviours
        Effective Communication Skills
        Personal Risk Factors
        Emotional Support Network
      • Grade 12
        Coping Strategies
        Interpersonal Skills
        Healthy Choices
        Protective Factors
        Risk Factors
        Supportive Environment
        Goal Setting
        Conflict Resolution
    • Divide students into small groups and assign each group to a specific Graffiti Board (chart paper) to begin the activity.
    • Provide each group with a specific coloured marker to record their thoughts.
    • Allow each group 30 seconds to think about the concept on their Graffiti Board and then another 60–90 seconds to record their collective ideas about the concept on the paper.
    • At the end of each recording time, have all groups rotate to a different Graffiti Board.
    • Repeat the above steps until each group has visited each Graffiti Board.
    • Once groups have returned to their original Graffiti Board, have groups review and identify the most common, interesting, or significant ideas that appear on the chart paper.
    • Have each group use these ideas to create a poem (e.g., acrostic, haiku, limerick, concrete/visual) and visual presentation (for example, tableau, series of vignettes, creative dance, song) to communicate the ideas on their chart paper and the connection between these and a person’s well-being.
    • Have each group perform their poem and visual representation for their peers.
    • After each groups performs, have them share what they hoped to convey through their performance and any additional learnings not included in the performance.
    • Encourage the rest of the class to provide constructive feedback for each group’s creative work.
    • Facilitate a class debriefing session. Have students reflect on what they learned, their and others’ reaction to the work of their peers, and what the class as a whole can take away from the activity to support the well-being of both self and others.
    What may be needed?
    • Chart paper

    • Markers (different colour for each group)

    • A list of healthy living concepts connected to well-being that are appropriate to the students’ grade

    • Time and space for students to explore their topic and to create and perform their poem and visual presentation

    Opportunities for assessment
    • Use the Graffiti Boards (that is, chart papers) to assess what students know and what they are able to connect to the key concept of well-being and to identify further learning that may be required.
    • Observe small group conversations to assess students’ application of critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
    Ideas for Extension
    • Have students develop a personal “mantra” or mindfulness script to help them cope with the various types of stressful situations they may encounter throughout their daily life. They might find inspiration in their group’s or another group’s presentation for this activity.
    Educator notes
    • Encourage students to develop critical thinking and inquiry skills for complex and multifaceted issues. Such skills include questioning, predicting, analyzing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives to make a judgment or guide decision making.
    • Moderate the post-performance discussion, ensuring class feedback remains constructive, correcting any misinformation presented in the presentation, answering any questions that may arise, and referring to relevant resources as needed.
    • If any potentially offensive or problematic content comes up in a performance, do not react in a disciplinary manner, but correct it.
    • Acknowledge humour as a useful tool for strengthening memory, building confidence, and increasing self-efficacy that also helps to combat stigma and diffuse awkwardness.