Blogging on Tagging

While doing a survey for an English education course, I asked students if they thought blogging was a viable way to express themselves or give opinions about the external world. One student’s response in particular caught my eye.

I don’t blog…learn to spray paint or something, tagging’s more fun anyway

While a teacher cannot encourage any kind of vandalism, even for arts’ sake, it got me thinking about the nature of the act. Can tagging be like blogging?

First, lets get a definition of “tagging” for those of you who didn’t go through high school playing video games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater which required such acts to complete certain levels.

The disambiguation link on Wikipedia tells us that tagging is

A form of signature used by graffiti artists

Now that we have the groundwork lain, lets take a look at some work done by famous graffiti artist Banksy around England:

I’ve linked to one of Wikipedia’s fair use images to avoid copyright issues from Banksy’s website.

The picture displays a naked man hanging from an open window while a dressed man and woman look around above him. This image is interesting, though it isn’t my first choice for use in any classroom, because it gives its audience a chance to interpret the image openly. A possible activity could be to explore a set of images that are tag art like the above picture. Students could answer prompts such as “What is happening in the picture?” In this case, I would ask students to use this image as a springboard for a creative writing assignment. Tell the story of the naked man. Why is he there? Who is he? Who is the woman above and how are they related? There is a simple answer implied by the surface of this image, the man was having an affair with the woman, when the husband came home unexpectedly. Students will be able to infer that more than likely, but each one will come up with different reasons and motives for the characters.

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For an instructional walkthrough on blogging in your classroom, please check out my instructional blog-through here: http://bloginyourclass.blogspot.com/