Citizenship education in the foreign language classroom: Youth spaces & places (murals and graffitties)

The proposal is to implement the following plan about murals graffitties in different locations and
have students engage in online communication in order to share their work on the topic and carry out a collaborative task with an impact in their own communities (please see plan below).


The academic year in Argentina runs from March till the end of November. Students can communicate in English (foreign language) and/or in Spanish (native language).


The plan is divided in weeks, which can in fact take short cycles of lessons and eventually last longer than one strict week.


Plan: Youth spaces and places: Murals and Graffities


Subtopics:

  • Identity
  • Decoration
  • Messages


In public places (graffiti and murals)

In private places (their rooms, their school)


Week 1: Photo session: students search for places with public murals in schools and take photos of them. Some of them will be murals, others graffiti. They describe the meaning of these pictures, written messages in terms of social and historical perspectives.
What do the colours say about their meanings?


Week 2: Students compare and contrast these pictures with the ones in their own rooms. In what ways do these murals and written expressions represent or not
their own identities in private? What do they say about young people in our own context? In what ways are they different from other teenagers in different parts of the world?


Week 3: Ss develop an interview for the head of the school where the mural was developed considering aspects of regional and international youth culture present in the artistic expressions.


Week 4: Ss interview either the head teacher and two or three students from the school where the murals were developed or the house owner and neighbours of the wall with the mural.


Week 5: A group of teenage muralists from Escuela de Bellas Artes visit the school and interact with students on their freelance activity as teenage muralists. Students record the interaction.


Weeks 6-7:
with all the gathered information students develop a documentary
(video) on teenage muralism in La Plata secondary schools versus other forms of expression (eg: graffiti)


Week 8: students develop a letter to the Mayor of the city requesting some form of authority action to support this freelance activity among young people.


Week 9: students develop a letter to the head of the school (Colegio Nacional) requesting a strategy to allow for artistic expression in the school.