Have you ever seen graffiti on walls, buildings or trains? Some people believe it is an art form, while others believe it is a crime. As with many complex issues, the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes.

Graffiti refers to images or words scratched or painted on property. Graffiti includes any type of public markings and can be as simple as written words or as complex as intricate wall murals.

The word “graffiti” comes from the Italian word graffiato, which means “scratched.” Art historians believe the term arose from the fact that the earliest forms of graffiti were carved on walls with sharp objects.

Graffiti has been around a long, long time. In fact, it can probably be traced back to the first time someone used an animal bone to carve the first drawings on cave walls. However, since these drawings were probably created on the walls of what were homes at the time, some people don’t consider them to be public and, therefore, not graffiti.

Examples of public graffiti date back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. These ancient forms of graffiti often displayed declarations of love, political slogans and quotes popular at the time.

Today, graffiti is mainly applied with spray paint or marker pens. In most parts of the world, painting property without the owner’s consent is considered vandalism. This is why many people consider graffiti to be a crime that should be punished under the law.

Others, however, believe graffiti is a legitimate form of street art. Today, graffiti is intertwined with hip hop culture and music. Street artists often use graffiti to express social and political messages.

On the other hand, graffiti is also often used by gangs to mark territory or commemorate gang-related activities. Public officials must balance the value of legitimate street art with pure vandalism related to criminal behavior.

Many public officials understand and recognize the value of public works of art. Some towns encourage public works of art — even graffiti — if it is approved in advance and serves a public purpose.

Some towns, however, have grown tired of battling unauthorized graffiti. Thanks to scientists who have developed special paints, these towns can now paint public areas with specialized paints that counteract graffiti. Instead of sticking to walls permanently, graffiti sprayed onto this special paint can be easily washed away.

The most common style of graffiti is the “tag.” Tagging simply means painting one’s name in one’s own unique style. A graffiti writer’s tag is like his or her personalized signature.

One well-known graffiti artist who helped bring graffiti into the mainstream in the 1980s was Keith Haring. Haring opened a store called the Pop Shop that sold products, like bags and t-shirts, which featured his graffiti art. Before he opened his store, his art could only be found on city walls.

Unlike Haring, however, many graffiti artists choose to remain anonymous. Because of the constant threat of legal action from those who oppose graffiti, many artists prefer to remain unknown rather than face problems with the law.

244 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (37 votes, avg. 4.46 out of 5)
  1. We thought it was interesting to learn that if someone did graffiti without an owner’s permission, it was illegal and could be considered vandalism. We discussed seeing graffiti around the city in places such as on tv, on the sides of old abandoned buildings, and even on boxcars of trains. We also liked looking up the murals that were in Paducah and Ashland Kentucky because they are in our state! :)

    • We really liked learning more about Kentucky by exploring this Wonder of the Day®, too, Kerrick Elementary School! Those murals were GREAT! Thank you so much for sharing all the awesome things you guys talked about after visiting this Wonder! :-)

  2. My whole class thought that that clip was NOT graffiti art because they were just making art on a comic strip line. I thought the video was awesome.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that what you and your classmates thought about the video for this Wonder, Leilani! We’re glad you guys visited Wonderopolis today! :-)

    • We’ll have to wait and see, Leilani! Thanks for commenting today and letting us know what you think our next Wonder will be about! :-)

  3. I loved today’s wonder! I thought it was so cool how Keith Haring made his own graffiti shop and made money from his art. I also thought that it was different how their are two sides to the story, illegal and legal. I think that graffiti should be legal because people make really cool art and then it’s washed down or something like that. But if it was my opinion, I would keep the graffiti on my walls because it looks awesome! This was a GREAT wonder! Thanks, Wonderopolis:)

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed exploring this Wonder of the Day® about graffiti, Will! Thanks so much for sharing how you feel about graffiti now that you know a little more about the legal vs. illegal issues, too. We appreciate your comment very much! :-)

    • What a super nice comment you left for us on this Wonder of the Day®, Jourdan! We are happy that you LOVE Wonderopolis! Thanks for letting us know that you enjoy learning new things here! :-)

    • We’re so glad you found this Wonder and learned more about graffiti, Eric! Thanks for your comment yesterday and also for your comment today! YOU ROCK! :-)

  4. Hello!

    Our class enjoyed learning about the history of graffiti! Many of questions were answered as we read the text. We found the history most interesting. We also found a connection to the style it was written in, it was almost like a persuasive essay that we just wrote! We are getting ready to “tag” our Graff-“READ”-ti wall with lines of literature that we love. How does this sound?

    “Words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade.” That’s by Sharon Draper’s book, Out of My Mind.

    Thanks for making us wonder!

    Team Clark

    • WOW! We LOVE the idea of you guys “tagging” your Graff-“READ”-ti wall, Team Clark! That sounds like some WONDERful fun! Thank you so much for letting us know you learned fun new facts about the history of graffiti by exploring this Wonder, and THANK YOU for sharing such a GREAT, descriptive sentence. We really like the way it sounds! :-)

  5. Hi Wonderopolis!

    We had many wonders about graffiti in the afternoon class, too. They were most impressed with the graffiti creator link. They are excited to make their own “tag” names. There was much discussion about where graffiti originated. We still wonder about when the line was drawn to distinguish between legal graffiti and vandalism, as well as what the monetary fine is for getting caught. We agree that we will never look at graffiti the same way ever again.

    We lifted another line from Out of My Mind today for our
    Graff-“READ”-ti wall. Wonder on this one… “Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes-each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.” Sharon Draper.

    Thanks for making us wonder!
    Team Wilch

    • We like that line from Out of My Mind VERY much, Team Wilch! We’re so excited to hear about the learning, class discussions, and extra WONDERing that occurred at BES today! Thank you for sharing your comment with us! :-)


    I think the history of Graffiti is AWESOME!! I never knew that graffiti was an Italian word for scratched! I thought that it was cool that graffiti dates all the way back to the Greeks and Romans. I wonder if any of the anonymous graffiti artist have been caught? When I think of graffiti I usually think of The State of Georgia. The reason is because that there is a lot of graffiti in the state! In our class we are starting something called a graff-READ-ti wall. This is a wall out side of our classroom and we can put quotes on the wall!!

    “I love rhyming words, its like a buy one get the rest FREE sale at the mall” That is the quote that I am thinking to put on the Graff-READ-ti wall. This is by Sharon Draper author of Out of My Mind.

    Thank for making me WONDER!!

    Team Clark #9

  7. Hello wonderopolis! I think that this wonder is very interesting. I think graffiti is both vandilisom and a form of legitiment street art. I me and my class are makeing a Graff-“Read”-iti wall. I’m interested in the the taging part of graffiti. I think that these murals are very nice art [depending on the language]. Here is a line from a book I’m reading called Inheritance, hope you enjoy it!

    “Its a great thing, what you have given this girl-a face and a future-and she will not forget it,I am sure…. None of us will”-Christopher Paolini.

  8. Hi!
    My class and I are learning about graffiti and your website pretty much taught the lesson! It amazes me how well this site is put together. We are working on our gaff-“read”-ti wall by “tagging” our names and a line from the book we are reading. I was amazed by the fact on graffiti. I never thought of graffiti being art and not just vandalism.
    A line from Seer Of Shadows by Avi:”This was so smoothly offered that only silence ensued.”

  9. Hello!

    There were so many things from this article about graffiti that I never knew. I never realized that graffiti could be good in some forms. I always assumed that graffiti was always bad never good. I also learned that graffiti could be used for political reason also. I found this article interesting because I never really take time to look at graffiti and now that I know the history of it I think it will be more interesting to look at. At some university they have a graffiti art wall and that reminds me of our graffreadi wall. It’s a cool wall because its educational graffiti in a way. I am thinking of putting this on the graffreadi wall, it’s from my favorite book Out Of My Mind: The rest of my body is sort of like a coat with the buttons done up in the wrong holes.

    Thanks For the Wonder!

    Team Clark 20

    • Thanks for this SUPER comment, Team Clark 20! We’re glad you and your classmates are enjoying learning about graffiti! We like the line you chose from Out of My Mind! It made us think about clothes! There are LOTS of past Wonders of the Day about different types and styles of clothes! Check them out: http://wonderopolis.org/category/clothing/. Happy WONDERing! :-)

  10. Hello

    At first I thought graffiti was only illegal but when I read the information I found out that it can also be legal,reading the information made me learn so much about graffiti that I never thought about, I really like wonderopolis!

    Thanks for your information,
    Team Clark

    • We’re REALLY glad to learn that you enjoy exploring Wonderopolis, Team Clark 19! Way to go! Thanks for leaving us this great comment today! :-)

  11. Hi,
    I enjoyed learning about graffiti. I understand why graffiti isn’t illegal when you ask permission. I also understand why it is illegal when you don’t ask for permission because that is just total vandalism. I think it’s not smart when people graffiti, when they don’t have permission, even if they’re doing it to resemble something. I liked reading the information thank you.

    “The cold hate in his voice turned blood to ice.” That’s by S.E. Hinton’s book, Tex.

  12. HI!!

    I had a LOT of fun reading the history of graffiti!! I learned a ton of interesting facts like that it is not always just illegal. I thought that all graffiti was illegal, but it is interesting as art too!!!! I really hope more people see past it being illegal. There is also a bad part of graffiti and now I know that some gangs do it to mark their territory.

    I am apart of the Graff-“READ”-ti wall.
    This is what I’m tagging for the Graff-“READ”-it wall!! “His eyes were the color of ambergris and shaped like a sickle moon and there were 7 of them.”
    That was by Scott O’Dell and the book THE BLACK PEARL!!!:)

  13. Hello!

    I really enjoyed learning about the history of graffiti! A lot of my questions were answered except for one of them. My question is how did graffiti start? In Language Arts class we have a Graff “READ” ti wall. for the Graff “READ” ti wall we are going to “tag” it with lines of literature from our independent reading books!

    “I’ll never forget this kindness on your part. Thanks for the tip-off. You’re the best sister in the world and I’ll always be indebted to you.” For the first time she was kind to me,and I felt very close to her.” This is from Chinese Cinderella By: Adeline Yen Mah

    • Hi there, Team Wilch 19! Thanks for this WONDERful comment! We have really enjoyed reading about all the great graffiti learning that has happened at your school today! We’re not sure exactly how graffiti started, but we know that it can be traced back to ancient times!

      Your “tag” for the Graff “READ” ti wall is AWESOME! It made this Wonder pop into our minds:

      Wonder #137 – What Is a Random Act Of Kindness? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-random-act-of-kindness/. :-)

  14. Hi!

    I learned a lot of stuff about graffiti. Like how it came from a word called graffiato. I thought that it was interesting that gangs use graffiti to mark crimes and places where they have been, but to still keep themselves anonymous. I also think it’s interesting that they use graffiti for politics. I bet that sometimes it gets out of hand. That’s probably why it turned illegal. I’m also doing the Graff-“READ”ti
    wall this is the quote that I’m using.

    “The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Potter… or at least, most minds are…” Thats by J.K. Rowling, from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

    Team Wilch 9

    • That’s a GREAT quote for your class’ Graff-”READ”ti wall, Team Wilch 9! We enjoyed reading your comment very much and hearing about all the cool things you have learned about graffiti by exploring this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  15. Hello!!!!

    I loved to hear about graffiti. I have learned a lot and hope to learn more. I always thought graffiti was a bad thing, but know it can be art. Now that I know a little bit more about it, I can use some art on our Graff-”READ”-ti wall. We will be tagging it with our new read aloud called Out of my Mind.

    Thank You
    Love the website and I can’t wait to wonder more
    Team Clark 8 :o}

    • It makes us SUPER happy to know that you can’t wait to WONDER more in Wonderopolis, Team Clark 8! Thanks so much for visiting this Wonder and leaving us a comment to let us know what you think about graffiti! :-)

  16. HI!
    My class and I are learning about graffiti.
    This website gave us a lot of information about it, like it came from an Italian word which means scratched. I also found out that people tag their name or a slogan. This website was put together great.
    Our class is tagging our name and a line from a book we are reading for are Graff-“READ”-ti wall.

    A line from Tim Tebow Through My Eyes “I grew up farm strong”.


    • We appreciate you letting us know you learned some new things about graffiti by exploring this Wonder of the Day® with your classmates, Team Wilch 2! We are SO excited about the Graff-”READ”-ti wall! We hope you guys share a picture with us when it’s finished!

      Your “tag” for the wall is GREAT! It made us think of this Wonder of the Day® about a sport Mr. Tebow loves very much:

      Wonder #336 – Are Footballs Really Made Of Pigskin? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/are-footballs-really-made-of-pigskin/. :-)

  17. Hi wonderopolis! I had so much fun reading about your graffiti segment. You answered all my questions but one, when did graffiti become illegal? I was surprised at where graffiti originated and what it means. The video was really extreme. I never thought that graffiti could be done in so many ways. It’s mind blowing! My class is doing a graffreadi wall. It’s where you pick a favorite line from your reading book and tag it on the wall. Here’s mine: “at the very bottom of the feudal system was the poor peasant.” This was from a book called 100 Things You Should Know about Nights And Castles.

    • Happy Thursday, Team Wilch 12! What a GREAT comment you left for us on the things you’ve learned about graffiti! We’re not sure when graffiti first became illegal, but that’s some awesome extra WONDERing you did! :-)

      We really like the “tag” you chose for the graff-read-ti wall! Here is a Wonder that came to mind when we read it:

      Wonder #425 – Could You Be Royalty? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/could-you-be-royalty/. :-)

  18. Hi!
    I thought this wonder was really cool! I think graffiti is like art but in an illegal way sometimes. It depends on the style, if its all sloppy and does not represent something, then it must be intended to be vandalism. But if it looks like a painting or it means something in a way, it must not be intended to be vandalism.

    My class is putting together a graff-read-ti wall where we put a line that we like from our book, this is the line I’m doing:
    Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen:”She was at him like a cat, so fast that she seemed a blur, and yet his mind took it all in”.

  19. HI,
    I learned a lot about graffiti. I learned that some people think that graffiti is a crime and some people think that it’s just art. I also learned that graffiti comes from the Italian word graffiato. We are making a Graff read ti in our hall, too.
    I am tagging,”It was as if everything came loose in Brian at the same time”. This was by Gary Paulsen

    • Hi there, Team Clark 21! Thanks so much for sharing what you learned about graffiti by exploring this Wonder of the Day®! We have REALLY enjoyed the WONDERful comments from you and your classmates today! :-)

  20. Hello
    I’m sooo excited for our class graff-READ-ti wall! I think what the kids were doing in the video, were painting a mural (not graffiti) on their school. What they were doing was probably not illegal because it seemed as though they had permission. It was cool to find out the word “graffiti” came from the latin base “graffiato”.

    I am tagging the sentence, “I’m probably fatter than you are” from a book called Slob by:Ellen Potter

    • We’re EXCITED that YOU are excited about your class graff-READ-ti wall, Team Clark #22! Thanks for sharing some of the cool things you learned about graffiti today…we like your “tag,” too! :-)

  21. Hello! Our class and I are learning about graffiti right know. We are working on
    Graff-“Read”-ti wall and we are tagging our lines and name on it. I had fun reading the history of gaffiti! I learned a lot of things about graffiti that I didn’t know! You pretty much taught the lesson!

    This is what I’m tagging on the Graff-“Read”-ti wall. The creature has purpose,and his eyes are bright with it.-John Keats

    • We like that “tag” very much, Team Wilch 6! Thanks for sharing it with everyone in Wonderopolis! We’re happy to hear that you had FUN learning the history of graffiti today! :-)

  22. Hi Wonderopolis! You might first off be wondering why so many team Clark and Wilch comments are showing up. It’s because our language arts teacher loves your website (as do I) and wanted us to blog our quotes from stories. I can’t wait to “tag” our wall! I used to think that graffiti was plain juvenile, but then I learned that it isn’t always illegal and it shows how artists show their emotions. One day, I hope to be a artist or writer. I wished I could do my own quotes, but I also love to read! My quote is:
    “And those tears can from the relization, not the fear.” from fablehaven.
    Thanks for listening to me ramble on and on!

    • You didn’t ramble on and on, Team Wilch 4…you were just sharing your excitement for WONDER and LEARNING! We think that ROCKS! Thanks for also sharing this awesome comment with us! We think your quote is GREAT, too! :-)

  23. Hello Wonderopolis!!

    I read SO SO SO many interesting facts in the text about graffiti. I did not know that painting murals was considered graffiti. I did not know that graffiti came from the Italian word graffiato.
    For our classes Graff-READ_ti wall
    My phrase is from the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Harry went to collapse on his bed.
    The trouble was, there was already somebody sitting on it.

    • Well, we’re SO, SO, SO happy to hear that you learned some interesting facts about graffiti in Wonderopolis today, Team Clark 7! That is AWESOME! We can’t wait to see a picture of your class Graff-READ-ti wall! We bet it’s going to be the BEST! :-)

  24. Whenever I heard graffiti, I thought of people writing bad words and sayings. I never thought of it as art. Now that I know this, I will think of it as either art or vandalism. My quote is:
    “A lie may hurt but a truth does to but you get better results.

    • We’re glad you learned there is another side to graffiti and that some of it can be considered art, Team Wilch 5! Thanks for sharing your quote with us…we like it a lot! :-)

  25. Hi Wonderopolis!

    I had fun learning about the history of graffiti!
    I always thought people did it for being cool, but now I know that people sometimes do it for expressing their feelings and as art.

    • Hello, Team Clark 10! We think it’s cool that you learned some new ways to think about graffiti today! :-)

  26. Hi

    I learned a lot about graffiti and how it is illegal and not illegal. I think graffiti is art, but not vandalism. People should ask permission before they graffiti someone’s property. Graffiti is amazing and I love the art in it.

    Here is a descriptive sentence:
    The bright green blood poured out of his dragon-like body like a water getting poured out of a glass.

    • WOW! That is quite an AWESOME descriptive sentence, Team Wilch #7! We like it a lot! Thanks so much for sharing your views on graffiti…we appreciate your comment! :-)

  27. Sorry

    My key board messed everything up!
    As I was saying, I had fun learning about graffiti. I always thought that people did it for being cool, but now I know that people do it for many reasons. My cousin does graffiti on paper!

    This is what I might put on the Graff “READ” ti Wall “Nothing matters with the greatness of the Symphony of Smells.” This is from the book “The name of this book is secret” By:Pseudonymous Bosch

    • Sometimes keyboards seem to have a mind of their own, don’t they, Team Clark 10?! Speaking of keyboards…have you ever explored past Wonder of the Day® #496 – What Is QWERTY? It’s all about keyboards! Here is a link that will take you right to it: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-qwerty/.

      We liked your quote for the Graff “READ” ti Wall, too! It was GREAT! :-)

  28. Hi Wonderopolis!

    Me and my class were looking at graffiti on your website and we learned quite a bit of information! But there was one question I was thinking about…how many people in the world did graffiti and got caught? My class is working on this thing called graff “Read” ti wall. we “tag” our names and a line from a book that we are reading.

    This is the line from my book. By the sand between my toes, By the waves behind my ears, By the sunburn on my noes. The book is A jar of Tiny Stars, By NCTE award-Winnig Poets.
    It spoke to me because I was at the beach for vacation and that came up.

  29. Hi Wonderopolis!

    Learning about Wonderopolis was very interesting and cool! I always thought it was illegal to even do graffiti. At least now I know about the history of graffiti. I also learned why people do graffiti. Wonderopolis has given me a lot of many different facts and detail that I never knew about.

    “A brilliant moonbeam was slanting through a gap in the curtains. It was shining right on to her pillow.” This sentence was from the author “Ronald Dahl” from the book “The BFG”


  30. Hi!
    I really enjoyed learning about graffiti.
    I didn’t know graffiti is Italian word which meaning scratch. We answered lots of questions that we didn’t know. We are going to
    tag our Graff-”READ”-iti wall. I’m exciting about it.
    “Between friends there is only goodness” That is by Verna Aardema, Traveling to Tondo.

    Thanks for the information
    Team Wilch 15

  31. It was a lot of fun reading about graffiti. At school where we are doing tagging. I think it’s art, not vandalism. We’re doing a graff-READ-it wall of graffiti.

    The end has felt near for a very long time
    from The Fire By James Patterson
    Thanks for the information,
    From team clark

    • We like that quote very much, Team Clark 12! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and also for letting us know you had FUN learning about graffiti from this Wonder of the Day®! We think learning in Wonderopolis is SUPER FUN, and we hope you do, too! :-)

  32. Hi Wonderopolis!

    I really enjoyed learning about all of the things on the website today. I am really excited for our graff-READ-ti wall.
    I will get to tag things up there, and it is very exciting, But I think it is vandalism if people do it on trains, or something they know their not suppose to graffiti on.
    I also like Murals. I think it is really cool to graffiti, unless you do it illegally.
    I also think it is cool when people graffiti, and there are anonymous people.
    Thank you so much Wonderopolis, for all of the interesting facts on GRAFFITI!

    The fires at the coal mines belch black smoke in the distance. Suzanne Collins

  33. Hi wonderopolis! I responded earlier. I got very very interested in graffiti letters. I think they are a lot of fun and can express your feelings. I can understand why people would do this, but doing so when it’s not legal just doesn’t sound smart. Plus, now that I have practiced graffiti letters I can under stand how this is legitimate street art.

    Thanks for helping me wonder and for giving me a new thing to do when I’m bored besides a video game.

    • We think it’s AWESOME that you WONDERed even MORE about graffiti and practiced writing graffiti letters, Team Wilch 8! Way to go! :-)

  34. Hi!
    It was very fun reading about graffiti and its history. I thought about all the negatives before but now, I think graffiti is illegal, but I also think an interesting piece of art. But I still don’t get why people even do graffiti.
    You see, I am part of something called the “Graff-READ-ti” wall. We have to add a special sentence out of a book that really popped out at you. This is what I am tagging for the “Graff-READ-ti” wall: “But there is power in killing innocence, terrible power.” This was by Rick Riordan and from the book “THE TITAN’S CURSE” which is the best book ever!!

    Team Clark

    • Your class “Graff-READ-ti” wall sounds SO COOL, Team Clark #15! Thanks for sharing about it with everyone in Wonderopolis! We really like your “tag,” too! :-)

  35. Hi

    I had lots of fun learning about graffiti. I didn’t know graffiti came from the Italian word graffiato.

    This is what I might put on our classes Graff-Read-ti wall:Rita did not say anything for a while,but eyed Hermione shrewdly,her head a little to one side.By J.K.Rowling

    • We think that’s a GREAT quote for your class Graff-Read-ti wall, Team Clark #18! Thanks for letting us know you had LOTS of FUN learning about graffiti! :-)

  36. I love to draw. Sometimes I do forms of graffiti (not on walls), but I only tag. I don’t know why they want to stay anonymous.

    MY class is doing a graff-READ-ti wall and I am going to tag and put my favorite sentence

    Bye for now.

  37. Hi wonderopolis,

    At first I only thought that graffiti was illegal but, now I know that graffiti is a way to show their feelings. I also didn’t know that the word graffiti came from the word graffiato. Also, our class is doing a project called the Graff-read-ti wall. Thanks for giving my this data. :)

    • Thank YOU for letting us know that exploring this Wonder might have changed your mind a bit about graffiti! We appreciate hearing that! Have a WONDERful day! :-)

  38. Sorry, I didn’t write enough. The graff-READ-ti wall is a literature wall for our favorite pieces of literature. I don’t know what I’m going to write. I never knew that graffiti in italian is graffiati. I didn’t know it could be political. I wish they weren’t anonymous. I’d like to know who they were.

    It’s cool that you’re real people not computers.

    • We think it would be cool to find out who some of the “anonymous” taggers are, too, Team Clark #14! We’d like to be able to tell some of them that their graffiti is like beautiful art! :-)

  39. Hello!

    Our class, along with Team Clark/Wilch, is excited about learning the history of graffiti! We wanted to think of ways to have students be able to “lift lines” from books that help them make meaning from the texts they are reading. It’s been great to see them really being thoughtful about the lines they lift from their books to put on our 5th grade “Graff-READ-ti” walls outside of our classrooms! Your information and video about graffiti kept us very interested, and we had a great discussion about the history of it and how it can be a very expressive art form, or an illegal act.
    Thank you for making us think critically about something to help springboard our thinking about our independent reading! More comments to come!

    Team Unger

    • Your comment made our day, Team Unger! It is AWESOME that you guys let this Wonder of the Day® act as a jumping off place for all that extra learning and WONDERing in your classrooms! We can’t wait to hear more about your “Graff-READ-ti” walls…we think that idea ROCKS! :-)

  40. Hi Wonderopolis!

    I found it interesting that Graffiti comes from the italian word “graffiato”. It is also interesting that some people don`t like graffiti while others enjoy and encourage it. Some people have very different perspectives! I really liked the article about graffiti.

    My class is doing a Graff-READ-ti wall outside our classroom. We are supposed to pick our favorite line from a book we read. I am not sure what I want to put on yet, though.

    Thanks for making me wonder!
    Team Clark #2

    • You’re welcome for the extra help WONDERing, Team Clark #2! Do you know what? You and your awesome classmates have helped US here in Wonderopolis WONDER, too! We WONDER what your Graff-READ-ti wall will look like and how many super lines from books you guys will tag it with! :-)

  41. Wow I had no clue that graffiti was so popular! I can’t believe that someone would write their name on something. Wow, stranger danger! My quote is:”The wind blew strong as we climbed the trail, covering the mesa with sand.” Think about that for a while!

  42. Hello Wonderopolis!

    Team McNeil is also excited about the graffiti video and the learning behind the history of this topic, along with Team Unger! One interesting thing to think about and discuss is the connotation of the word “graffiti!” Like many other people who responded, it’s interesting to think about what people think when they first hear about this word!

    The video about graffiti was neat, and the students liked the art project mural!

    We are excited to post comments about our independent reading book.

    For our class shared reading book, Where the Red Fern Grows, here is a neat line:

    “I looked to the hillside above our home. There it stood in all its wild beauty, a waving red banner in a carpet of green. It seemed to be saying, ‘Good-bye, and don’t worry, for I’ll be here always.’ ”

    Thanks for getting us interested in this wonder topic!

    Team McNeil

    • This is a WONDERful comment, Team McNeil! Thank you for sharing all the cool stuff you guys have been learning and liking about graffiti! We LOVE hearing that you are WONDERing even more about the subject as a class and as individuals, and we can’t wait to read your awesome comments! :-)

  43. The quote is from The Island Of The Blue Dolphins by: Scott O’Dell. He has a very descriptive/powerful way of writing! I have finished the book already, but its words will stay in my heart forever. Anyway about graffiti, I have always thought that it was always illegal but I guess that you proved me wrong! In my class, we are making a graffiti wall and putting cool quotes on it in cool font, that’s why I brought up the quote thing. Do you have a favorite quote? You don’t have to say what it is but I’m wondering if you have one.

    Team Wilch #14

    • Thanks for asking if we have a favorite quote, Team Wilch #14! We think that is super nice of you! We have SO many favorite quotes because we gather them and collect them in our memory each time we read a great book or article! We have MANY new favorite quotes now from you and your classmates! Here is a Wonder we think you might enjoy based on your interest in The Island of the Blue Dolphins:

      Wonder #248 – How Are Dolphins and Porpoises Different? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/whats-the-difference-between-dolphins-and-porpoises/. :-)

    • We can’t wait to see pictures of it, Team Wilch #14! It will be filled with all the WONDERful quotes you and your classmates selected! :-)

  44. Hey!!!!!
    I liked learning about graffiti and I thought it is awesome and REALLY OLD! I think graffiti is really cool, but I used to think it was vandalism. But now I think of it as art. I will always look for it. Graffiti reminds me of the Mural in our school it is nature themed, I think. Tagging is so cool and now I am excited to look for graffiti and tagging. I also liked learning about how graffiti comes from the word graffito which means scratched!!!!

    For my classes Graf-READ-ti wall and I’m going to put on it is from Out Of My Mind, By Sharon Draper:
    Butterscotch is like a canine vacuum cleaner.


    • What a super cool quote you chose for your Graf-READ-ti wall “tag,” Team Clark #13! We like it a lot! We also like hearing all the cool things you learned about graffiti and how your thoughts have changed a bit to think it can sometimes be considered art! :-)

  45. Hi

    I thought it was very interesting on how graffiti comes from grafiato which means scratched because your basically scratching art into walls and stuff like that. I also see why most artists stay anonymous because graffiti is vandalism.

    For our graff-read-ti wall I put ‘Colby chased colton around little-brother-style’ from the nonfiction book Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. I chose that because I like the part ‘little-brother-style.

    • WOW! That’s a super cool quote for your class graff-read-ti wall, Team Clark #5! Thanks for sharing it with us today! :-)

  46. Hi!:)

    I never knew that graffiti was so old! I really don’t think that is vandalism, it just a way of showing art to everybody. It makes community look bad, but I think it looks cool. I want to know from people who did graffiti~Why did you do graffiti? If I did, it would be to show my art that made me awe inside. I learned graffiti comes from the word in Italy~graffito which means scratched!

    So, for my class I am going to put this on the gra”read”iti wall- Fire world by Chris D’Lacey ~One well-written passage of words could not only melt the heart of a reader but stay with them forever. p543

    • We like how you WONDERed more about what graffiti artists think, Team Unger #2! Asking someone “why” they graffiti is a GREAT way to learn more about it! We’re sure glad you stopped by Wonderopolis today, too. We really like your quote for the graff-read-ti wall! :-)

  47. My quote is from the book Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood. It’s on page 127. It says,”Does anybody think that just ’cause I’m not a grownup that I can’t see everything clear as day?” To me this quote states that just because we are kids, doesn’t mean that we can’t see everything “Clear as day” that’s going on with the government and other issues that are happening in the community. We may not understand it all as much,, but we all still know they are there. This quote says that just because we are not adults, it doesn’t mean we can’t see the economy issues and can’t help to do anything to try and help fix them. Thank you to Wonderopolis for doing research and creating a video and story about graffiti. Doing this gave us a chance to find a quote and write about it to put on the Graff-READ-ti wall outside our classroom.

  48. My first reaction to the video was wow. I couldn’t believe kids made it. It was so detailed it looked like a profestional’s work. My quote is “You miss 100% of the shots you never take”, All About Hockey, by George Sullivan. I like the quote because it can be seen in sports because if you don’t shoot you’ll never score. This means you can’t win if you can’t score and you can’t score if you don’t shoot. You’ll never in your life score a goal if you don’t shoot. My coaches tell me to get the puck to the net and good things will happen. Also you’ll never get something if you never try.
    The video that we watched was really cool in how we saw them paint and draw a masterpiece.

    Thanks for the video it was great,
    Team Unger #4

    • Thanks for leaving us such an AMAZING comment, Team Unger #4! We think the quote you chose is true about life outside of sports, too! If you never take a chance on something, you’ll never know how AWESOME it could have been! Since you play hockey (we bet you are GREAT at it, by the way!), we think you might enjoy this past Wonder of the Day®:

      Wonder #109 – What Is a Zamboni®? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-a-zamboni%C2%AE/. :-)

  49. HI!! I am starting to think a little bit more about graffiti! We have learned a lot and I can’t wait to start our Graf-READ-ti wall in school.

    Thanks wonderopolis for a great conversation starter about graffiti!! I love the video and how they transformed the wall into a beautiful piece of art work!!

    I didn’t know graffiti was that old, and that it came from the word graffito, I thought that was interesting. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s quotes and how our Graf-Read-it wall will turn out! :)

    • We can’t wait to see a picture of your class Graf-READ-ti wall, Team Unger 8! We have really enjoyed reading the GREAT comments you and your classmates have left for us about it! You guys are REALLY great WONDERers and we’re SO GLAD you learned more about graffiti by exploring this Wonder of the Day® together! :-)

  50. I think that graffiti is cool and I would love to make one. If I were to make one, I would make a wacky pack. There are these fun stickers that make fun of companies like, RainyD or apple jerks (instead of apple jacks). Or, I might make some peace meaning art. What do you think I should do? :) alex-hanely

    • We don’t think someone can tell someone else what their graffiti should look or be about, Alex-Hanely! We think that has to be something you feel inside…something that you are inspired to share with the world. We like your ideas…they are AWESOME! :-)

  51. I was really surprised that graffiti was so old!!! Who knew ancient Greeks and Romans used it? In school we’re doing a “Graf-READ-iti” wall and we are to lift a line from our books. Mine is from Titanic Young Survivors By Allan Zullo, “You weren’t born to be drowned.” I like this quote because this is something everyone that night needed to hear.

    Thanks for making us wonder!

    • We think it’s fun to hear some of the cool facts you learned about graffiti by visiting this Wonder today, Team Unger 14! Thank you for sharing your comment with us! We like your “Graf-READ-iti” wall quote very much! :-)

  52. Wow! I never knew graffiti had so much history behind it! My favorite part is when it told me about the meaning of the word, where the word came from. I also really loved the graffiti creator. At school, me and my class are doing this thing called grafreaiti and we put our favorite quote. Do you have a favorite Quote?

    • We love LOTS of quotes, Team Wilch 6, so it’s hard to pick just one favorite! Our list of favorites keeps growing with every comment we get from students at Bailey, though…you guys ROCK! We think your Graff-“Read”-ti wall sounds so interesting! :-)

  53. I think that the graf-read-iti wall was a really good idea. I can’t believe that the kids in the video did that amazing art work. The quote I choose was from the book A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbuert Soup. “Of the virtually hundreds of species of animals that populate this planet, may I say that dogs are far and away number one.” I liked the quote because I think that dogs are number 1.
    Thanks Wonderopolis for the conversation starters.

  54. I didn’t know what the word graffiti meant. I think that graffiti could be really neat if used as art in a good place, but it can also look trashy if it damages property. “All day long at the Center I could think of nothing else but a home-cooked meal.” One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Delphine is thinking about how nice it is going to be to have a home-cooked meal. It will be healthier and also it will make her feel safe and comfortable. She has been eating take-out food for dinner quite a few days in a row.
    Thank you to the people at Wonderopolis for a great conversation starter about Graffiti.

  55. Hey!
    I loved learning about how graffiti came from the latin word graffito which means scratched. I used to think of graffiti as vandalism because I thought that you were not supposed to do it. But now I think of it as art and I will look for it whenever I go somewhere. I cant believe that graffiti is so old. Graffiti has a really cool history that I didn’t know about!

    My class is doing a Graff-READ-ti wall and the quote from my independent reading book that I like is,

    “I didn’t tell the entire truth so why should Xander,”
    My quote is from Matched by Allie Condie

    • We’re so happy that you enjoyed learning about the history of graffiti, Team Clark 13! Thanks for letting us know that! We really enjoyed reading your Graff-READ-ti wall quote, too! We hope you have a WONDERful day today! :-)

  56. Hi, I never knew that Graffiti came from the latin word Graffito. I couldn’t believe that those kids (in the video) made that! It looked so professional! I always thought it was vandalism because I thought it made our community look bad. Now I look at it as art! I really had no idea that graffiti was so old! Hope we learn more about it!

    I loved writing my quote on our Graff-READ-ti wall. My quote is from Deep Down Popular By: Phoebe Stone “The best things in life aren’t things.”
    I can’t wait to see how the Graff-READ-ti wall will turn out!

    Thanks Wonderopolis for these great Ideas and answers to many questions! Team Unger #21

    • We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed writing your quote on your class Graff-READ-ti wall, Team Unger #21! It’s so awesome that you learned new things about graffiti by exploring this Wonder with your classmates! :-)

  57. Wonderopolis-

    I loved watching that video about graffiti. It gave some interesting examples of graffiti. In my class, we are doing a board called a “Graff-Read-ti” board. The class finds quotes from a book and writes it on the board. My quote is from The Story of Henry Hudson by Eric Weiner. My quote is, “Juet felt that by refusing to turn back, Hudson was risking the lives of everyone on the ship”. That means that by not turning back Captain Hudson was risking the crews lives. Thanks for starting a great conversation about graffiti!

    • It certainly HAS been a great conversation about graffiti, hasn’t it, Team McNeal 13? We have really enjoyed hearing all the awesome quotes (including yours) that are going to be “tagged” on your class Graff-READ-ti wall! Thank you for sharing your comment with us today! :-)

  58. Hello!!!
    I thought that the graffiti video was very cool! I learned many facts that I never knew before! In school we are doing a “Graff-read-iti wall. On the wall we are going to put a quote from our independent reading book, and one from a book we read as a class called “Where the Red Fern Grows”. My independent reading book quote is……Clarice’s pride depended on it. Here is what they were talking about. Delly is Clarice’s child and Delly is always getting in trouble. One day she got sent to the principles office and her mom came. Delly’s mom started crying, and Delly had never seen Clarice cry before. That’s when she knew she had to change! My book is called “True (…Sort Of)”. Thank you for making cool videos and reading this comment. Bye!

    • We’re GLAD we got to read your comment, Team McNeil 16! Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed this Wonder about graffiti and for sharing your quote for the Graff-“READ”-ti wall! We liked it a lot! :-)

  59. Hi wonderopolis people. Our class is doing a Graff-Read-ti wall, it is so much fun!!! I really enjoy learning about the history of graffiti. I always thought that graffiti was a very bad thing, but I guess it’s not and I never new graffiti was so old . You guys have a great video. It was really interesting! Our class is finding quotes from our independent book. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    From: Team Unger 18

    • Happy Monday, Team Unger 18! We’re glad you are so excited about your class Graff-“READ”-ti wall…we are, too! We have had a blast reading all the awesome comments you and your classmates have left for us about the wall, and we can’t wait to see a picture of it when it’s finished! Way to go! :-)

  60. Hi,
    I never knew that graffiti was that old. I thought that gangsters just did it to tick people off. I’ve been doing a graff-read-ti wall at my school and we had to find a line in our book that we thought was very important and mine is from Frindle and it is “the show would go on.” I think it is important because if you believe something is right you shouldn’t stop doing it.

    Thank you for having this awesome information,
    team unger #23

    • That’s a really cool quote for your class Graff-“READ”-ti wall, Team Unger #23! Thanks for sharing it with us by leaving us this AWESOME comment! :-)

  61. Hey wonderopolis, the graffiti video was awesome. We had a lot of connections in that video. We are doing a Graff-READ-ti wall at school and we have to post a quote from our independent reading book and this is my quote from WANTED…Mud Blossom by Betsy Byars “No, no it’s not a hole it is a surprise.” I like this quote because he is “doing his homework,” but not really.

  62. Hello! The video about graffiti was so cool! I loved how the kids made such a beautiful piece of art! I couldn’t believe that they made it! The video totally changed my mind about “GRAFFITI”. I always thought of it like vandalism, but it really made me think about it differently.
    For my class “Graff-READ-ti” wall I am using a quote from the book Finally by Wendy Mass. My quote is “You won’t get what you want, until you see what you need.” I like this quote because, if you went out and bought everything you saw that you wanted, half of it would be a waste. A waste of stuff, time, and money. So it is kind of like saying wait a while, open your eyes, and you will find what you are looking for.
    Thanks for the great conversation starters about Graffiti! It is a great topic!

    Team Unger #1

    • Wow, that’s a really great quote, Team Unger #1! Thanks for sharing what you think the quote means…that helps us put the words into context a little better! We appreciate you sharing some of the interesting things you learned about graffiti, too! It’s fun to learn new things and see a different side to something, isn’t it? :-)

  63. Hi :) I think this website is really cool!
    Right now in school, we’re learning about Graffiti. First, when I saw the video, I was really surprised that Graffiti can be really beautiful! I thought graffiti makes our buildings look bad, but now I notice that Graffiti also can make our building pretty!

    I like writing my quotes on our Graff-READ-ti wall. My quotes is from book called Cloudy with a chance of boys By.Megan McDonald “Getting a boy is harder than winning a lottery.” I am really exited to see everyone`s quotes and how it will turn out!

    Thanks for making this great videos and making us wonder!!!


  64. Dear Wonderopolis-

    The graffiti video amazed me. And I never thought graffiti was illegal. I think the last person in the video, Winegar looks a little like me o__o. Anyway, we are doing a Graf-read-ti board (same class as all other team Mcneil people). The class writes quotes from books on the board. My quote is from the book Knights of the Lunch Table The Battling Bands. The quote is “That’s where I Put it!””What the sword?””No my ukulele!”. Thanks for starting the graffiti!

    • Thanks so much for sharing what you thought about the video for this Wonder of the Day®, Team McNeil 22! We appreciate hearing about all the awesome stuff that’s happening in your classroom and at BES! You guys are SUPER! Keep up the WONDERful thinking and learning! :-)

  65. The graffiti video was sweet. I loved the drawings in the video. At school, we have a “graf-read-iti” wall and my quote is “thantos must be freed” from the book The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan.
    Thank you for teaching me about graffiti and the conversation starter.
    from Team Mcneil 7

    • Conversation is AWESOME because it helps us learn and WONDER even more, Team McNeil 7! We’re so happy you and your classmates are getting to do something super fun like the Graff-“READ”-ti wall! Your teachers are AWESOME for inspiring you guys to be great thinkers and learners! Make sure you tell them how GREAT they are, OK? :-)

  66. HI Wonderopolis!!!

    I loved the article you did. It made me more interested in graffiti than before! I actually technically thought it was really vandalism, but now
    I actually am taking graffiti as a kind of art!!! Our teacher, is making us take a line from a independent reading book and making us put it on a bulletin board that we call the Graff-read-ti wall. It is a board that when we find a very meaningful quote to us, we write the quote on the Graff-read-ti board. Mine was,” Love hurts sometimes. Or maybe all the time.” It is from the book My brother Sam is dead. It is sad, But it is still a very good book!! Thank you so much for the great sentence starter about graffiti!! And also, how do you get the question of the day?? Do you just randomly close your eyes and pick one??

    • Thanks for sharing this AMAZING comment with everyone in Wonderopolis, Team McNeil 14! We really enjoyed reading it! Did you know that many of the ideas for Wonders of the Day come straight from the creative, WONDERing minds of Wonder Friends just like YOU? It’s true! You can tell us what you WONDER about anytime you like by leaving us a comment or by clicking on the “nominate” link at the top of every page in Wonderopolis and answering a few quick questions! It’s super easy and LOTS of fun! :-)

  67. Wonderopolis,
    Thank you very much for posting about graffiti! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do that! I am so much more interested in graffiti now that I know some of the history of it, and how long ago it dates back to! For the graf-read-ti wall! My quote is “You are always telling me I can do anything in the world I set my mind to” I really like this quote because you really can do anything you set you mind to! I thought it was just perfect! It is from the book Ruby’s Slippers by Tricia Rayburn. I never knew graffiti was so interesting! Thank you very much to the people at wonderopolis for posting this very great video and article!! It was such a great conversation starter!!

  68. I really liked the article for the graffiti topic! I found it really interesting and detailed! In class, we are doing a “Graff-READ-iti” wall and we have to post a theme or important idea from our independent book that we are reading. My quote is “it is not often that a true friend comes along at heart” from the book Charlotte’s Web, which is written by E.B. White. I like this quote because I personally think that it is very true! Thank you Wonderopolis for the great conversation starter about graffiti!

    • Charlotte’s Web is an AMAZING book, Team McNeil 9…good choice for your Graff-“READ”-ti wall quote! We like hearing that you thought this Wonder of the Day® was interesting and we hope you learned a lot (we sure did)! :-)

  69. I really liked the graffiti video, but I think that wasn’t graffiti. In class, we are doing a graff’READ’ti wall. My quote for the wall is ‘Ford Prefect suppressed giggle of evil satisfaction. This helped me ‘see’ the character. I like the graffiti art and I think there should be a graffiti permit for certain places. Thank you guys for that video and I think that this is an awesome website.

    • We like that idea about a graffiti permit for some places and circumstances, Team McNeil 1! Thank you for sharing your awesome quote for the Graff-”READ”-ti wall, too! We liked it a lot, it was very descriptive! :-)

  70. Hello!
    I thought the video of the kids doing graffiti for a art project was REALLY cool!
    The sentence I used as my independent book quote for the Graff-Read-ti wall was from “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”, by Brian Selznick. It said “But another story begins, because stories lead to other stories, and this one leads all the way to the moon.” I picked this quote because it is true, stories lead to other stories, and some lead all the way to the moon. Thanks SO MUCH Wonderopolis people for a great conversation-starter!!!

  71. Hello,
    I really liked the video and how it showed different types of graffiti! My quote on the graffiti wall is “Sometimes help is needed.” That’s from the book Titanic: Book one by: Gordan Korman. It is a great book and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series! I like that quote, because to me it’s like saying “you can’t do everything on your own.” I really wish you could come see the graff-READ-ti wall!
    Thank you Wonderopolis for the great conversation starters about graffiti!!!!

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    • We hope to be able to see your AWESOME class Graff-”READ”-ti wall by photo when it’s done, Team McNeil #6! We bet it looks WONDERful! Thanks to you and your super smart, creative classmates for sharing such great quotes with us! :-)

  72. I am reading a book called Jim Thorpe by Van Riper Jr. and I like it so far. We are doing a graff-read-ti wall and I chose a quote that means a lot to me. The quote is “When you lose, lose with honor” because when I lose I usually get irritated about it so I think I can learn a thing or two from is book. Thank you for reading this, it means a lot.

    • Well, it really means a lot to US that you took the time to visit this Wonder and craft such an awesome comment to share with us, Team McNeil 15! Thanks so much for being a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

  73. I love this website!!!

    Thank you wonderopolis for the excellent video and the things about it. It made team Unger think a lot, use our creativity, and use our imagination. It made me stretch my mind a lot.

    My quote is “We must never allow our own circumstances to become an excuse for not helping others in need.” I really like this quote because it tells us that we should always help others. It doesn’t matter if we are tired, or thirsty, or if you are in trouble. I got this quote from my book A Whole Nother Story, which is by Dr. Cuthbuert Soup.

    Thank you for the amazing and wonderful conversation starter about graffiti.

  74. Hi, Wonderopolis. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful video clip and the information about history. I learned a lot about graffiti. Unfortunately, I have never seen the graffiti as an artwork in my town. I am very positive about graffiti if drawings share value. If I can, I would like to draw graffiti with my classmates.
    For the Graff-READ-ti wall, my quote is “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” It is from the book called “I love puppies” written by Josh Billings. I chose this quote, because I really see that a dog is the only loyal pet in the world.

    • Dogs really CAN be loyal pets, Team McNeil #18! Thanks for sharing this great comment with us! We like hearing that you learned a lot about graffiti today, and your quote is AWESOME! :-)

  75. Team Unger #17

    That video was cracking! :) Those kids did a cracking job. I liked the
    colorful paintings on the tunnel wall and the music was upbeat.
    My favorite quote so far is, “We never go solo!”-Willa, Kingdom
    Keepers II:Disney at Dawn By:Ridley Pearson. I like this quote because
    it shows how the characters in this book stick together.

    • Hello, Team Unger #17! Thanks for sharing what you liked about the video for this Wonder of the Day® about graffiti! We have never heard the word “cracking” used an adjective before, so we learned something new from your comment! :-)

  76. I now think differently about graffiti now that I’ve seen that it can be a work of art (with permission) and not just random stuff because of the video.

    My quote for our Graff-Read-Iti wall is

    “Why did the famous musician get struck by lightning?

    He was a good conductor”. This is from The Big Book Of Silly Riddles, Gyles Brandreth.

    I like this quote because I think it is good to make a teacher laugh and it has to do with music and science.

    Thank you for the awesome conversation starter about graffiti.

  77. I am surprised that graffiti is so old, and how the students made that graffiti on the wall. It was very interesting to me. I found a quote in my independent reading book that I really like, the book is called Travel Team By: Mike Lupica. The quote was “you should give up now, you have no chance of making it”. What I liked about this quote was, that his friend told him to give up but you should never give no matter what your doing.

    Thank you for the great conversation starters about graffiti.

    • We were surprised to learn that graffiti dates back to ancient times, too, Team McNeil 10! We love learning new things, and we’re glad you do, too! Thank you for sharing such a GREAT Graff-“READ”-ti wall quote with us! Have a WONDERful day! :-)

  78. Hey there, Wonderopolis! :)
    That is a really cool video you guys have. I watched the video and I can’t believe those kids made that! Do you know how long it took them to finish the mural? Anyways, we have this big thing in our hallway called a Graf-READ-ti wall. It is a big poster on the wall and we put important quotes that we got from our independent reading book on it. My quote is “We practiced with a will.” I got that from a book called Lou Gehrig. It means you practice with determination. I have a question for you. Why did you decide to make this website? Did it just pop into somebody’s mind or was it something that you were thinking about for a long time? I LOOVVVVE this website. I will Keep on WONDERing!!! :)

    • We’re SUPER happy that you will keep WONDERing, Team Unger #7…that makes us REALLY glad! We wanted to make Wonderopolis a FUN place where learners of all ages could explore, share, and WONDER about the world around them! When we receive comments like the awesome ones we’ve received from you and your BES classmates this week, we know we are on the right track! :-)

  79. Hi Wonderopolis!
    The graffiti video is AWESOME!! I am so glad that I could learn about graffiti and I enjoyed the graffiti creator. Thank you so much.

    For the Graff-“READ”-ti wall,my quote is “Even though Rodrick can be a huge jerk sometimes, he IS my brother.” This is from Diary of Wimpy kid by Jeff Kinney. As you know, this book is REALLY fun and Greg and Rodrick are not very friendly each other. But I can see from this quote that Greg loves his brother because Rodrick is his brother. I don’t have a brother and I wish I had one.

    • Thanks for sharing why you picked that GREAT quote for the Graff-”READ”-ti wall, Team McNeil #19! We really appreciate your comment! :-)

  80. HELLO!!!

    I was surprised when I saw this website! It looks so cool and I can’t wait to explore on it when I have some time.

    In class we are learning about the word “graffiti”. I always thought that graffiti was art but I didn’t know it could make something pretty. I always thought that it was all over buildings and trains and things in the down town area, but only to make them look bad. In the graffiti shown in the video it didn’t remind me of gangs but of peace.

    My teachers made a GRAFF-READ-TI wall. All the kids in my class picked a quote from their book and are writing it on the wall. My quote is “He’ll be fine,” Griffin said, unconcerned. “He’s acting.” It was from the book Zoobreak and the author is Gordan Korman. I liked my quote because if you are really friends with someone you can tell if they are faking or just messing with you!

    Thank you Wonderopolis for making me wonder!


    • Hi, Team Unger 9! We really enjoyed reading your comment…THANKS for sending it to us! Your quote for the GRAFF-READ-TI wall is GREAT! :-)

  81. Hi Wonderopolis!
    I thought that the graffiti article was AWESOME! I also loved the graffiti that the people in the video painted. In our language arts class we are doing a project called Graff-“READ”-ti wall. The Graff-“READ”-ti wall is a wall that you can write a meaningful quote on it from your independent reading book. My quote is: There weren’t too many of “us” in the waiting area, and too many of “them” were staring. This is from the book One Crazy Summer which is by Rita Williams-Garcia. I like this quote because it’s mysterious and you don’t know what “it” and “them” are.
    Thanks for a great conversation-starter about graffiti!

    • What a super quote for your class Graff-”READ”-ti wall, Team McNeil #21! Thanks for sharing all the things you liked and learned about graffiti…we really enjoy hearing that our friends at BES are WONDERing! :-)

  82. Hey,

    I loved the video on how those kids painted that artwork. I cannot believe how they painted that so good! I am reading The Last Holiday Concert. It is by Andrew Clemmets. My quote from this book is “Let there peace on earth, and let it begin with me, let there be peace on earth, the peace was meant to be.” I like this quote because it means that you can help make peace, and that peace is really good. Thank you for this great conversation starter about graffiti!!!

    • Hi, Team McNeil #11! We like your Graff-”READ”-ti wall quote! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and letting us know what you thought about the video for this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  83. How did you ever think of this wonderous website? I love it!!!!:-)
    One of my #1 favorite books is “Ezperanza Rising”. One of the most meaningful lines in the whole book is “Aguantate tantito y la fruta caera en tu mano” (Wait a little while and the fruit will fall into your hand). This quote is for my Graff-READ-tti wall at my school, you may have been hearing about this wall for a while now. I hope you enjoyed my comment! Last of all I need to thank you for providing this site for us.

    • We sure DID enjoy your comment, Team McNeil 8! Thanks so much for sharing it, and your awesome Graff-”READ”-ti wall quote, with us! We hope you have a WONDERful day! :-)

  84. Our class watched the graffiti video and thought it was very interesting that kids could show what graffiti meant to them. I have this quote for you that is: “If we woke mama up one last time, she’d be as mad as flies in a fruit jar.” This quote was from a book called: The Bridge To Terabithia By Katherine Patterson. This quote is a simile, that means it’s exaggerating. Well the main thing what the quote meant is if the kids’ woke mama up one more time, she would be CCRRAAZZYY, and that’s not very good. So, um, yeah. That’s my quote.

  85. Oh yeah. HEY WONDEROPOLIS!!!! Thank you so much for starting a conversation with me! It helped my education a lot.
    Ta, ta now. (GOODBYE)

    • You’re welcome, Team McNeil 17! We think it’s GREAT that you and your BES classmates were interested in learning more about graffiti and that you visited Wonderopolis, too! :-)

  86. Hi, we are doing a cool project called graff-read-tti. It’s where you choose a quote from your book that you think is very interesting and then you put it on a bulletin board that everyone can see. I think it is a very fun idea. We saw your video on graffiti and it was really cool. My quote is from a book called “We’ll Never Forget You Roberto Clemente”. This is my quote = “It may be because you are black. Maybe they are afraid white people won’t come to the games”. This quote was about a black baseball player. I chose this quote because I think it is sad that people judge people on their skin color.

    Thank you for a great conversation starter about graffiti!!

    • Hello, Team McNeil 20! We think it is sad that some people judge others that way, too. We are super proud of you for choosing this quote for your class Graff-“READ”-ti wall! :-)

  87. Hello Wonderopolis!

    Wow! Team Clark, Team Unger, Team Wilch and Team McNeil have all been really enjoying writing to you about what we are learning about graffiti here at WES (near BES), and we wanted to thank you so much for responding! We appreciate that you have been taking the time to respond to each and every comment! We know that must be a lot of work! Our Graf-READ-ti boards are almost finished, and when we they are done, we would love to share some photos with you. We are also looking at some other ways to use Wonderopolis in our classrooms. Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Unger will be working on incorporating various “Wonder” Questions into our language arts lessons to extend thinking about student topics of interest. We are excited, and look forward to sharing more with you. Thanks again for helping us learn about so many new things!

    • We are so happy to hear from you today, Team Unger! Thanks for letting us know your school is WES and not BES…we’re super sorry for getting confused about that! We have REALLY enjoyed reading all the GREAT quotes and comments everyone has shared with us…they helped us learn, made us think, and got us WONDERing, too! THANK YOU all for being such AWESOME Wonder Friends…we can’t wait to see photos of your class Graf-READ-ti boards! :-)

  88. I loved how the video showed that having creativity is fun and you can do a lot with it. In class we are doing Graff-Read-itti and we had to pick a quote from are independent reading book. My quote was from Sign of the Beaver. I can not wait to check out more of Wonderopolis.

    • We’re super glad you can’t wait to visit more Wonders, Team McNeil 12! That is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing your comment with us today! :-)

  89. I think the graffiti story is really cool I never knew what the history was until I read it
    it is so interesting :)

    • We’re super glad you think so, Team Wilch 3! Thank you for sharing what you thought of this Wonder about graffiti! :-)

  90. I think that the graffiti story was fun to learn about.
    I was happy to learn many things from the graffiti.
    The story was really interesting. :)

    • It makes our day to hear that, Team Wilch 23! We’re proud of you and your classmates for exploring this Wonder together and sharing all the awesome things you learned! Way to go! :-)

  91. Hello wonderopolis!
    I am doing this thing called graf-read-iti and this is a line that I really like out of the book I am reading:

    “Chest! Oh God, my chest is coming apart!”
    The book that this sentence came out of is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

    • That’s a very descriptive line, Team Wilch 6! We are so excited to hear all the awesome quotes you and your classmates are sharing for your class Graff-“READ”-ti wall! :-)

  92. Hello, right now in my class were doing this thing called a graf “READ” ti wall. You right your name in graffiti and write your favorite sentence or little piece of your book your reading. Here’s mine…

    “I had never heard a voice so cruel and cold. It scared me more than the pain in my arm.”
    That’s from treasure island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I wrote that because I think it’s well written. That’s all I have to say so, Bye. :)

  93. Hello Wonderopolis!

    I think that artists shouldn’t do graffiti on walls unless it is their own house because they can always draw on a paper or a canvas I think there should be a small fee if somebody does it on someone else’s property because that person might not want it
    I like to draw graffiti like things too except I do it on paper not on walls or places like that.

    My class is doing something called a graffiti -read- i wall where we tag lines from our books and use the graffiti creator to write our names
    then we put our names and lines on a wall!

    Here is my line:

    “It’s after the shower. That’s when it happens.
    It’s when I turn on the bathroom light and wipe the
    fog off the mirror to comb my hair. It’s what I see in the mirror.
    It’s what I don’t see.
    I look a second time,and then rub at the mirror again.
    I’m not there.
    That’s what I’m saying.
    I’m. Not. There” – THINGS NOT SEEN by Andrew Clements.

  94. I can’t believe that sometimes graffiti can be legal because it’s vandalism! One cool reason about graffiti is that it shows creativity and it proves that you are really artistic. But, I still think it should be illegal. That video was so cool because it had really good creativity and kids are doing all of it.

    In our class we are doing a graf-READ-ti wall where we write apart of book where someone talks. Mine is “I wish I can go back and change all my mistakes.”

  95. I liked the video, but I found it a little bit confusing. Maybe I should watch it again, and maybe then I’ll get it better. My great quote is:
    “Welcome to Florence. You now know that our guests are well treated. So far.” Cahills vs. Vespers Book One The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman. (This is from The 39 Clues Series.) It seems mysterious, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought! That’s why I liked it!
    Thank you for the great conversation starter.

  96. Your art looks awesome. I bet everyone liked it, it is amazing. I’m reading a book called tin tin. It is amazing you should read it. Hope you make more art, bye.

  97. Hey Wonderopolis!!
    I loved the information about graffiti. I find it really interesting that graffiti could be vandalism, but yet used for political reasons. Well in the sense that it can be vandalism it is probably smart that they don’t tag. Anyways, it leaves it a bigger mystery when they leave it anonymous.

    Our class was so excited that we created a GRAFF-READ-TI wall. It is cool lines from our books that we can post on it. The one I put on is: “Dinah was staring grimly at the slanting mist when something electrifying emerged through the murky twilight: the high graywall of a castle.” This quote is from the book Griffin’s Castle written by Jenny Nimmo.

    • We really like that book line, Team Clark 16! We can see the picture of the castle in our mind’s eye! Thanks for letting us know what you think about graffiti, too! :-)

  98. HELLO.

    In my class room we are do a twist on graffiti. Instead we say a Graff-READ-iti Wall. Thank you Wonderoplis for inspiring our wall. I learned from the well written article, that graffiti can be considered a pretty mural. It can also be vandalism to some people. What I found interesting was that the word graffiti comes from the Italian word graffiato. On my class’ Graff-READ-iti, we have to write a quote from our book. My quote was”If there’s one thing I’ve learn it’s that you can’t give up on your family ,no matter how temping they might make it.”from The Sea Of Monster written by:Rick Riordan.

  99. I thougt that the video was really cool. I really did not know that graffiti had been around for soo long. A quote that I saw in my independent reading book was “he’s not fooled yet he is never easy to fool I don’t think anybody has ever fooled him” that quote was from the book I Survived San fransisco earthquake by lauren tarshis. Thank you wonderoplis people for the great conversation. :-)

    • Your book quote is GREAT, Team Unger #15! Thank you for sharing it with us and also for sharing one of the awesome things you learned about graffiti by exploring this Wonder! :-)

  100. I loved the video it so good because it shows how people in the wars get mechanical legs.
    i am really glad that i know about Wonderopolis it is a cool website and there are so many things to do.
    I cant wait to learn more about graffiti!

  101. Hi Wonderopolis,
    Thanks for posting that cool graffiti video. At first I thought that graffiti was against the law but I guess it could be used for good porposes too. I didn’t know that graffiato meant SCRATCHED either.
    At school we have to take a quote out of our independent reading book and put it on our Graff-Read-iti wall. My quote is from the book THE BRONZE PEN by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
    My quote is: AND SHE NEVER FORGOT THAT ANY FURRED OR FEATHERED CREATURE COULD BE AN IMPORTANT MESSENGER. Thanks for taking the time to look at my comment, and how do you look at everybody’s comment?!:-)

  102. Hi, Team McNeil 2! We think your quote ROCKS! Thanks for sharing your comment with us today…we really appreciate you stopping by Wonderopolis to learn some new things about graffiti! :-)

  103. Hi! I never knew that graffiti could be used in so many ways to express yourself. Graffiti is really beautiful when it is legal.
    My quote is “It often had sort of a peaceful smell-as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world.” I like this quote because I think it shows that different places can have different effects on different people. When a place makes you think that nothing bad will ever happen, then the place must mean a lot to you. The quote is from the book Charlotte’s Web. I can’t wait to post it on the “GraffREADitti” wall!
    Thank you Wonderopolis for this great conversation starter!

    • Happy Sunday, Team Unger 10! We sure appreciate your comment and we think your quote for the “Graff-READ-ti” wall is AWESOME! We like the book, Charlotte’s Webb, and we’re glad you do, too! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know you liked this Wonder of the Day® about graffiti, Mya! We’re so glad to hear that! :-)

  104. Hi, I always love sitting in the car when a train is going by! Lots of people think it’s vandalism, but I think its so cool! It’s amazing what people can do with letters!!!! and I think the community should get to have a wall where anybody can paint anything on it as long as it’s appropriate, because people are getting so much more talented and passionate about art! I mean if these talented people get noticed, they could possibly become famous! I know that this comment has nothing to do about this website but its amazing what people can do!

    • Your comment is GREAT, Graffiti On Trains! We appreciate hearing the different opinions our Wonder Friends have shared with us about graffiti. We think that your “one-wall-where-everyone-can-paint” idea is pretty cool and creative, too! Thanks for sharing it with everyone in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  105. Where I live there’s a meat store, and there’s a white brick wall, and there’s a graffiti in downtown Elkin N.C. Nobody knows who did it, but it’s pretty.
    P.S I love this website.

    • Hi Wonder Friend! That’s so WONDERful that you’ve seen graffiti in your town! What did the graffiti look like? We’d love to hear about it! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

  106. I never knew there such thing called graffiti. It looks very cool to think about it. I am in Miss Sumpter’s third grade class so that means I will see you tomorrow then. My prediction for tomorrow’s WONDER of the day is about people’s feelings. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Hi Morgan! Thanks for WONDERing with us! We are so glad that you’re WONDERing with us in and out of school! We can’t wait to WONDER with you tomorrow! :)

  107. Wonderopolis,
    I don’t believe today’s wonder is this. This one is #387, and we are way ahead, on the thousands. When I click on WONDER OF THE DAY, it directs me to this. Why?

    • Hi Ava! The weekends are WONDERS from the WONDER Vault so we bring old WONDERS back to learn about them! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

  108. Hi I found this amazing wonder and I just had to ask you a question…I wanted to know why some people think graffiti is a crime..if you writing bad words and means things I get that that’s a crime but I have seen some graffiti that is actually really beautiful!!

    • That’s a great question, Victoria! Some people consider any type of graffiti as a crime if the artist did not obtain permission to paint on the property. Sometimes, owners of buildings commission artists to create beautiful works of graffiti art on their buildings, which is not considered a crime. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


  • Wonderopolis on Facebook
  • Wonderopolis on Pinterest
  • Print

Have you ever wondered…

  • How old is graffiti?
  • What is tagging?
  • Is all graffiti a crime?

Wonder Gallery

graffiti_shutterstock_14622247dreamstime_xl_21905216 customdreamstime_xl_22694988 customdreamstime_xl_27921267 customVimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to see your name in glorious graffiti? No, you don’t need spray paint and you don’t need to decorate any private property. Just grab a friend or family member and try one or more of the following fun activities!

  • Use the online Graffiti Creator to see how your name — or any word or phrase up to 15 characters long — would look in a variety of colors and styles of graffiti. Can you create a graffiti-inspired version of “Wonderopolis”?
  • Some towns have chosen to display their history in the form of murals painted on walls. For example, check out these murals that capture important scenes from each town’s history: The Murals of Katikati, The Murals of Stony Plain The Murals of Santa Paula  
  • Does your town feature any public artwork? If so, we’d love to see it. Take a photograph or draw a picture of local artwork. Email it to us or post it on Facebook. You can also mail us a copy:

Wonderopolis HQ

325 West Main Street, Suite 300

Louisville, KY 40202

Still Wondering

Check out ArtsEdge’s Shin Tanaka: Paper Toys video to learn more about Shin Tanaka, a Japanese artist, graffiti writer, paper toy creator, and designer who has worked with some of the biggest names in street fashion and designer toys.


Test Your Knowledge

Wonder Categories/Tags

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day feels a bit red. Or is it blue? Guess what? It’s up to you!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.