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Design a Personal Coat of Arms

Lesson Plan and Artwork by Joe Culotta, Art Consultant
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Lesson Plan
Grades 5-12
Sax Lesson Plans, Social Studies, English, Math


Perhaps one of the most enduring aspects of Medieval England is heraldry. Though it originated in the 12th century, the Coat of Arms and other forms of heraldry continue to be used even today. Companies, schools and religious institutions use heraldry to identify themselves by creating a shield / crest to signify their place in the community. Five colors have been recognized since the earliest days of heraldry. These are red, black, blue, green and purple.


  • Students will research and study the history and use of heraldry in the Medieval Period.
  • Students will select a basic design as an emblem significant for their own Coat of Arms from either their family name, school name, school class or club that they are in.
  • Students will create a shield design on canvas using one of those ideas as their Coat of Arms.

Supplies Needed

#1428716 Fredrix Canvas Pad 9 x 12, 10 sheets
#1485666 Liquitex paint markers primary, set of 6
#1590306 Liquitex classic paint assorted, set of 12
#411569 Sax Olympia Pure White Bristle Brush, set of 6



Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.


Standard #5: Develop and refine artistic work for presentation.


Standard #8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.


Standard #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Standard #11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.


Adjust quantities and add all items at once


Step 1

Students will create a symbol or figure to incorporate into their design for creating a coat of arms.

Step 2

Students will incorporate lettering into the design reflective of their idea or symbol.

Step 3

Initial drawings should be done showing placement and incorporation of their symbol or figure and lettering into the artwork.

Step 4

After thumb nail sketches are approved of the Coat of Arms, the work will be measured out and drawn onto the Fredrix Canvas Pad.

Step 5

The Coat of Arms selected and drafted will then be painted using acrylic paint pens and paint, onto the canvas.

Step 6

The Fredrix Canvas Pad is ideal for this lesson as it lends itself to be cut with scissors and bent or shaped as desired before mounting.

Step 7

The completed painting can then be applied on a support mount for display.

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