Holodomor Quotes – Graffiti Activity

Graffiti Walk with Quotations on the Holodomor

Tamara Kowalczyk

[Excerpt From Holodomor in Ukraine, The Genocidal Famine 1932-33: Teaching Materials for Teachers and Students – By Valentina Kuryliw]

The Graffiti Walk instructional strategy encourages higher-order thinking among students. In this activity students read and respond to a selection of quotations on the Holodomor. Students interpret and analyze the quotations and the impressions of their classmates, and thus, have an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the topic studied. This activity is especially well suited to kinesthetic learners and can easily be differentiated to suit the needs of students in diverse classrooms.

Appropriate for students:

Grades 7 to 12

Curriculum Fit / Specific Expectations / Learning Outcomes:

Please select outcomes you wish to cover from either English language arts or social studies or history and prepare an assessment to share with the students at the outset.

Materials Required:

  1. A selection of quotations on the topic of the Holodomor. See suggested quotations in this activity and Section 2, 2.8
  2. Chart paper
  3. Marker for each student

Set-up Required:

  1. Choose 5 to 6 of the suggested quotations provided below or selected from Section 2.
  2. Print each quotation on a separate sheet of chart paper.
    • Place quotations in stations around the classroom, ensuring sufficient space between stations. Quotations may also be hung on the wall and/or dispersed on desks around the classroom. Note: Whiteboards or chalkboards may be used instead of chart paper provided there is ample space between each station to prevent overcrowding of students.
    • Print out instructions that follow the suggested quotations. Place in the classroom for easy reference for students
    • Divide students into groups of 4-6.

Task One

  1. Students are instructed to move with their group from station to station at timed intervals until each group has visited all stations.
  2. At each station students read the quotation and the responses contributed by students in previous groups.
  3. Students record their comments directly on the sheet of chart paper. Comments may be about their interpretation of the quotation, their opinion about what was said, inferences they have made, questions that came to mind, connections to previously learned course content, connections to ideas, topics, news, and/or events beyond the classroom, or their thoughts on what their classmates have written.

Task Two

  1. Groups return to their first station to analyze the responses. Within their group, students choose: group leader—ensures everyone has the opportunity to participate and that opinions are respected, maintains order.
  2. time keeper—ensures the discussion is on topic and manages the group’s discussion time
  3. recorder—records the group’s ideas, arguments, and evidence
  4. presenter—presents the group’s arguments to the class
  5. Students identify common themes and interesting ideas among the comments, as well as develop questions based on their findings for class discussion.
  6. Each group presents a summary of their comments, analysis, and questions to the rest of the class.
  7. Using brainstorming technique, teacher aids students to find 5 focus items from the class presentations.



Quotations may be substituted with photographs, statements, facts, video clips, audio clips, visual media, and/or questions developed by the teacher.

Individual variation

Students can be asked to respond to quotations without discussing or collaborate with others in their group.

Group variation

Students within each group may be asked to collaborate when generating their responses to the quotations. Students  assigned to a role in the group to ensure a productive group environment (e.g., leader, time keeper, presenter) may change roles and responsibilities at each station.

  • Students may choose a quotation on the Holodomor that most closely reflects their conclusions, based on their thoughts, analysis, and class discussion.

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