LITERARY POSTER – Contrast, Space, Typography

Students use markers and crayons to create a Missing Person poster based on a character in a story they have read. 

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts
Media Literacy


composition contrast dominant element space typography


Crayola Crayons Crayola Fine Line Markers Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Rulers Pencils Erasers

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LITERARY POSTER – Contrast, Space, Typography - Step One

Step One

  1. Read your story to find answers to questions about the missing person.
    - When was he/she last seen?
    - What was he/she wearing?
    - What is his/her name?
    - How old is he/she?
    - Does he/she have any distinguishing features?
    - What do you think happened?
  2. Make a rough draft of your design.
LITERARY POSTER – Contrast, Space, Typography - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use a pencil to lightly draw the main details of your poster.
LITERARY POSTER – Contrast, Space, Typography - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Outline shapes and letters with marker.
  2. Colour the main details with crayon.
  3. Make sure the text is neat and carefully spaced so it easy to read.
LITERARY POSTER – Contrast, Space, Typography - Step Four

Step Four

  1. View your finished poster with fresh eyes.
    - Does it have a dominant element?
    - Are the most important parts emphasized?
    - Does the image relate to the message?
    - Is the message simple and clear?
    - Does it show all the important information?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • identify 5 characteristics of effective posters;
  • read for a purpose, gather and organize information and select significant details;
  • create a literary poster based on information they have gathered from a story they have read;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


Have students:

  • use the Book Remark lesson plan available on this website to write a review of their book;
  • work in small groups to create a video of imaginary interviews about the missing person with various characters from the book;
  • share their videos and book remarks with other classes.


  1. Gather, and display posters from the Internet, for example,
  2. Download and display the Emphasis, Contrast and Space posters available on this website.
  3. Gather, and make available books about lettering, for example, Little Book of Lettering, by Emily Gregory; Adventures in Lettering: 40 exercises to improve your lettering skills, by Dawn Nicole Warnaar; Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists, by Jenny Doh; Doodle Art and Lettering with Joanne Sharpe: Inspiration and Techniques for Personal Expression, by Joanne Sharpe; and Hand-Lettering (An Interactive Guide to the Art of Drawing Letters), by Megan Wells.
  4. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students use the AnalyseAMediaText worksheet. (Downloads - AnalyseAMedaiText.pdf)
  5. Provide time for students to read a story of their choice. After they have read the story ask students to choose one character to have go missing. They should find information in the text that answers the following questions:
    - When was he/she last seen?
    - What was he/she wearing when you last saw her?
    - What is his/her name?
    - How old is he/she?
    - Does he/she have any distinguishing features?
    - What do you think happened?



  1. View and discuss several posters, for example, Peace and Wellbee, pointing out what makes them effective.
  2. List the characteristics on a chart paper, for example: ​
    - simple and clear composition makes it easy to see important information
    - shows all required information
    - has a dominant element, such as a symbol, or character that immediately catches your eye
    - uses size, contrasting colour or values to emphasizes the most important part of the message 
    - images or symbols are related to the message
    - colours are strong so they attract attention from a distance
  3. View a variety of lettering styles and discuss what an effective font for a Missing Person poster would be, and why.
    weight - thin, bold (thin fonts are more passive, bold more powerful)
    - colour - symbolic and cultural meanings
    - size - big, small (bigger fonts are more powerful and attract attention first)
    - slant - italics emphasizes words, suggest motion
    - formality - serious, playful
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Identify 5 characteristics of effective posters.
  2. Create a Missing Person poster based on information you have gathered from a story you have read.
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when my design:
    - is based on details found in my story;
    - is carefully planned and completed;
    - uses different sizes and weights of fonts;
    - is simple and clear; 
    - uses negative space to make it easy to see important information;
    - shows all required information;
    - has a dominant element, such as a symbol, or character that immediately catches your eye;
    - emphasizes the most important part of the message;
    - includes images or symbols that are related to the message;
    - uses colours that connect with the message.
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into partners.
  2. Ask them to: 
    - share their work and discuss the things that are especially effective and why
    - talk about what they found satisfying about doing this project
    - talk about how they might use what they learned in a different way
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.
  5. Display the posters alongside the books so students can view them and make connections.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the posters – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – MissingPoster_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – MissingPoster_self-assessment.pdf)