When graffiti ends up in art galleries

Title separator

Vocabulary - art

graffiti lesson plan


This ESL graffiti lesson plan is based on a video which presents the Beyond the Streets exhibition which featured over 100 graffiti artists, and touches upon the history of graffiti and street art. The worksheet includes some vocabulary tasks as well as two listening comprehension activities. Students will also have the possibility of expressing their opinion about this form of art.

B2 / Upper Intermediate
C1 / Advanced
60 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


Students start this graffiti lesson plan with a general warm-up discussion about art which includes some reference to street art as well. They have to answer questions and it’s your choice whether it should be an open discussion, a pair work or a group work. Next, they move to a word formation task. They get a few sentences and need to complete them with correct forms of words given in brackets. It includes such words as a curator, an exhibition, soften, etc., and most of them appear in the video they will watch later.


Before watching the video, students need to acquire some vocabulary that may facilitate listening to and understanding speakers from the video. They get four words and phrases in context which they need to match with correct meanings. Then, they move to the first listening comprehension task. In this activity they have to watch the video and answer a few comprehension questions. In the second task, students watch the video again and fill in the gaps in the sentences taken from the video. They need to complete them with one word each.


This graffiti lesson plan ends with a discussion. This time students get a list of statement about graffiti and street art and they need to tell whether they agree or disagree with them. Monitor your students and make them use various structures to express their opinions. You can even use our standalone extra worksheet for expressing opinions if you find a need to revise with your students different vocabulary and structures for giving opinions.

Extra Worksheet –  Expressing preferences

This extra worksheet supplements our lesson plan on graffiti and includes various words and phrases that more advanced students might use when talking about their preferences. They will of course practise this new language by expressing their opinion on a few works of art we thought people might either love or hate. Discover Love it or hate it worksheet yourself.



Title separator

Leave a Reply

  1. Audrey

    Hi there,
    I like this lesson plan and the topic is interesting. I just wondered if it could be better to have the discussion questions before the vocabulary exercise on page 1. Just a thought!

    1. Justa

      Audrey, thanks for the idea! Actually, when I think about it now, it seems much better to have discussion questions at the beginning of the lesson rather than the word formation task. We’ll definitely change the worksheets 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Nat

    Another interesting lesson plan. Thanks! I’m going to use it today in class.

    There’s a typo in the word “graffiti” in the file name, the header, and the title of this page.

    1. Justa

      Nat, thanks and tell us how it has worked with your students.

      Sorry for typos: virtual facepalm for me!

  3. Ivan

    Looks like a great lesson, unfortunately the link doesn’t work in Australia

    1. Stan

      Thanks for letting us know about this issue and it’s also nice to hear that people from Australia come to ESL Brains! That’s the farthest from our HQ 🙂 I assume you get a message from YT that this content is unavailable in your country due to copyright issues. If that’s so, we can’t do much about it besides not using content from that channel in the future.

  4. Nat

    Hi Justa, it worked perfectly! The lesson ran smoothly and both me and my student learned something new about graffiti. 🙂 Thanks a lot!

    1. Justa

      That’s really great 🙂 happy to hear that!

  5. Serg

    My students and I enjoyed doing this lesson very much, thank you!

    1. Justa

      Happy to hear that 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  6. Gail Crous

    Hi Justa, thank you for the response. I have a few issues with the “interview” sentence. A film star can give an interview to a reporter. A reporter can interview a film star. An interview consists of one person asking another person a series of questions, normally a formal situation that has been pre-arranged (think job/journalist/police interviews). A museum curator cannot give me an interview about modern art. He can answer all my questions about modern art, yes. I could arrange to interview the curator about modern art with a view to publishing the interview, but that’s not the same as asking him questions about modern art when I visit the museum. That usage just doesn’t sound correct or natural to me, perhaps consult someone else? Otherwise, I love your lessons!

    1. Justa

      Oh, I get it now! Thanks so much for clarification. That sentence was meant to be said to a reporter. But there wasn’t much context, so it might have been confusing.
      To avoid further confusion, we’ve just modified this sentence a bit:)

  7. Елена Балденкова

    Hello, Justa!
    Thank you for such an interesting lesson!
    I have just 2 questions.
    In the second exercise: “Happy is a talented teenage ………………. with a passion for spray paint and hip hop.”. Who is this guy? I couldn’t find the information on the internet.
    In the 4th exercise: “Did graffiti start in New York?”. The answer in the teacher’s version is “no”, but according to the video I understood that it started there. Did I miss something? where did it start?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. Justa

      Hi there!
      Answering your questions:
      1. Actually, Happy isn’t a real person. She’s a character in a movie, The Blue Hour.
      2. When it comes to ex. 4, the answer is ‘no’ because one of the speakers in the video [00:41] says “While New York City didn’t start graffiti, it’s the city that made graffiti famous.

      1. Елена Балденкова

        Thank you very much!
        I love this lesson!

Browse other materials recommended for you

Title separator
lesson about diet and obesity
B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 60 min

Should junk food be taxed?

General Global Issues

In this lesson about diet and obesity, students reflect on the factors contributing to the problem of obesity, listen to a news report and learn some words and phrases related to health.

lesson plan about warehouse automation
C1 / Advanced
Standard Lesson 75 min

How smart can a warehouse be?


In this lesson plan about warehouse automation, students practise listening skills while expanding their technical vocabulary related to robotics and automation.

listening for details
B1 / Intermediate | B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 60 min

Would you like to work a four-day week? (listening for details)


In this lesson students will watch a video on a four-day work week, improve their listening for details skills and and reflect on the positive and negative aspects of working four days a week.

reported speech practice
B2 / Upper Intermediate | C1 / Advanced
Flipped Lesson 60 min

How does silence make you feel?


In this lesson students discover the power of silence, work on improving their listening skills and focus on reported speech practice.

positive and negative adjectives
C1 / Advanced
Standard Lesson 60 min

Anxiety-free news


In this lesson about anxiety-free news, students learn and practise positive and negative adjectives and reflect on the impact of news stories on our lives.

food idioms practice
B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 60 min

Unusual ways of using food

Design & Art General

In this lesson about foodscape design, students practise listening, reflect on unusual ways of using food and learn several food idioms through a series of written and oral exercises.

multiple choice questions
C1 / Advanced
Standard Lesson 60 min

Trees – an essential part of cities

Global Issues

In this lesson, students will watch a video about the important role of trees in urban areas, answer multiple choice questions and learn several (advanced) collocations and expressions related to the topic of green cities. 

People making small talk in English
B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 60 min

Mastering small talk

Business General

In this lesson students practise their listening skills with an engaging video about making small talk in English, learn several phrasal verbs and sharpen their small talk skills through a series of speaking activities.

business English role plays
B1 / Intermediate | B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 75 min

How to work with people who get under your skin


This lesson plan is based on a video about how to deal with difficult relationships at work and includes two business English role plays.

Show more lessons


Title separator

Is there a minimum subscription period if I choose a monthly subscription?

No, there’s no minimum required number of subscription months. You can cancel any time you want. Basically, you can sign up and then cancel your subscription the next day, which will mean you have access for 1 month and won’t be charged again.

What currencies can I pay in for my subscription?

Our default currency is USD (American dollar), but you can also pay in EUR (euro), GBP (British pound sterling) or PLN (Polish zloty). You can change the currency you want to pay in at the Pricing page before selecting a subscription plan.

How can I edit an e-lesson plan?

You can get your own editable copy of an e-lesson plan and make changes to it. To do so, either (1) make a copy of it on your Google Drive (preferable method) or (2) download it in a Powerpoint format (but formatting might be a bit off so we can’t guarantee that it will work well).

Read more FAQ
Title separator

ESL Brains

Forgot password?
or continue with