Keith Haring Semiotics Poster

Keith Haring Semiotics Poster

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This lesson introduces students to the work of Keith Haring, focusing on his semiotic messages. Students have to create their own semiotic symbols to communicate a positive message that is important in their lives.


Students will be able to look at Keith Haring's symbolic messages and understand the importance of the meaning communicated.

Students will choose thier own message to communicate to others that will positively influence their lives.

Students will create a semiotic vocabulary (6 symbols) related to thier messages. They are not allowed to use words in thier symbols.

Students will harmoniously combine the symbols (1 or all 6) in a poster to communicate thier personal positive message to others.


DRAWING THE LINE video a portrait of Keith Haring
(some mature images are filtered for the age of the students).


Black Markers
may need limited color markers
small computer paper (2 per student)
larger drawing paper (1 per student)
Keith Haring images for inspiration
List of issues for students to choose (students can think of alternative messages if needed)


Watch Video.

Watch Above the Influence commercials on the internet.

Discuss last statement Keith Haring says about choosing life or death.
Look at a variety of symbolic poster Keith Haring created and encourage the students to share their thoughts on them. Ask students if they can guess what some of Haring's symbols communicate.

Let student pick a message that they want to communicate. Encourage sincerity.
Fold 2 pieces of computer paper into quarters. Have them write their class info in the first box, thier message in the second with brainstormed words to communicate message, and in the last 6 boxes, draw and label symbols to communicate message,

Use symbols together in a larger poster to harmoniously communicate the message. Bolden with Black marker. Only use color to emphasize important meanings (red blood, blue water, etc.).

Write message on back of paper and any necessary explanation.