Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

ABC Graffiti

Lindsay Hawkins, Lindsay Williams | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


Cover Image

ABC Graffiti

This group brainstorming strategy is designed to promote thinking about a specific topic, concept, or text. Students recall prior knowledge and make connections to new learning via other resources.

ABC Graffiti


Students rotate through a circuit of ABC posters every 2–3 minutes, generating words or phrases for each letter of the alphabet related to the topic provided.


  1. Organize students into small groups and provide the class with a topic.

  2. Provide each group with one colored marker (each group gets a different color) and poster paper that shows the alphabet in two columns (one letter per row in each column) while providing room for students to write.

  3. Groups write down words/phrases for as many letters on their poster as they can in the time provided using their prior knowledge of the topic.

  4. Call time. Groups rotate to the next poster, taking their marker with them. They pick up where the last group left off in trying to fill out the poster.

  5. Call time. Groups rotate again. This time, have them use an outside resource to generate new words/phrases for the remaining letters. Students can also add to letters that were previously used.

  6. Call time. Groups rotate to their original poster to construct a summary statement that synthesizes the poster's information.

  7. Groups share out their summary statements with the class.

  8. Optional: Individual students write a paragraph or two detailing how the information from the statement and poster affected them as a learner.

Rozzelle, J., & Scearce, C. (2014). Power tools for adolescent literacy: Strategies for learning. Solution Tree Press. ABC Graffiti Poster example located at: 2d7ca4ecd1e97ee5f57d058318002b97/ABC%20Graffiti%20Poster%20Example.pdf