POWERFUL POSTERS – Modern Calligraphy, Emphasis

Students use crayon resist techniques and modern calligraphy to create a poster about an environmental issue. 

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Science
Visual Arts
Media Literacy

Vocabulary

composition contrast dominant element emphasis modern calligraphy

Materials

Watercolour Paints Soft Paint Brushes Regular Crayons - not washable Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Masking Tape Plastic Placemats - 1 per student Water Containers Paper Towels Pencils Erasers Broad Line Markers

Steps

POWERFUL POSTERS – Modern Calligraphy, Emphasis - Step One

Step One

  1. Brainstorm some ideas for your poster.
    - symbols
    - slogans
    - composition
     
  2. Make 3 or 4 thumbnail sketches.
  3. Choose the ideas you like the best.
POWERFUL POSTERS – Modern Calligraphy, Emphasis - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Tape a piece of watercolour paper to a plastic placemat.
  2. Use tape to divide the paper into 4 sections.
  3. Try different techniques in each section. 
POWERFUL POSTERS – Modern Calligraphy, Emphasis - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Decide which ideas you like the best.
    - colour on top of a wash
    - colour inside crayon lines
    - white crayon
    - coloured crayon
    - glitter watercolour
    - regular watercolour
POWERFUL POSTERS – Modern Calligraphy, Emphasis - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Tape a piece of watercolour paper to a plastic placemat.
  2. Use the techniques you liked to complete your poster.
POWERFUL POSTERS – Modern Calligraphy, Emphasis - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Use a broad line marker to add modern calligraphy to your poster.
  2. Gently remove the tape from the paper. 
  3. View your poster with fresh eyes. Ask yourself:
    - Does your eye move easily throughout the composition?
    - Is there a dominant element that immediately attracts your eye?
    - Does it include a headline in modern calligraphy?
    - Is your message clear and easy to read?
    - Are the colours strong?
    - Do the images or symbols relate to the message?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • identify 5 characteristics of effective posters;
  • create an environmental poster based on their research using crayon resist technique and modern calligraphy;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

Have students:

  • use the Designing a Brochure lesson plan available on this website to create a brochure that provides information about their environmental issue;
  • work in small groups to video an infomercial about their environmental issue;
  • share their videos and brochures with other classes.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson have students learn modern calligraphy using the Modern Calligraphy lesson plan available on this website.
  2. Gather, and display posters from the Internet, for example,
    Peace
    Wellbee
  3. Download and display the Emphasis, Contrast and Balance posters available on this website.
  4. 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.
  5. Provide time for students to research an environmental issue of their choice.

Introduction

  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 and discuss a variety of lettering styles, including modern calligraphy alphabets.
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Identify 5 characteristics of effective posters.
  2. Create an environmental poster based on your research using crayon resist technique and modern calligraphy.
  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 my research
    - is carefully planned and completed 
    - includes a headline in modern calligraphy
    - is simple and clear 
    - 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
    - emphasizes the most important part of the message 
    - includes images or symbols that are related to the message
    - has strong colours so they attract attention from a distance
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - share their work and discuss the things that are especially effective and why
    - analyse the designs focusing on the characteristics of effective posters.

    - 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.

Assessment

  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 – Poster_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Poster_self-assessment.pdf)