Contributed by Yael Ben-Zion
This visual arts activity encourages students to explore identity, promotes community building, and introduces the concept of symbolism.
- Share an example of a crest, this could be a crest from pop culture or history students are studying. Introduce the concept of symbolism and invite students to share what the symbols on the crest might represent.
- Introduce the concept of symbolism.
- Explain to students that they will be making their own crests that will include symbols for things that are important to them.
- Distribute templates for their crests
- Guide students in creating their crests with the following prompts:
- First, write your name or initials in the middle box. (Letters and words are symbols.)
- Then choose a box that will represent home or where you are from. Include symbols that represent home for you.
- Choose a second box. In this box include symbols to represent your favorite activity.
- In a third box include symbols for things you value. This could be anything (e.g. a person, object, feeling, place, etc.).
- In the final box include your favorite Emoji(s).
Transition into Activity
Show an example of a crest and engage the class in conversation about symbolism.
Transition out of Activity
Invite students to share their crests with the class and why they chose the symbols they did. Encourage students to identify commonalities between their crests.
Students need a hard surface to work on.
- Prepare a sample crest to share with students.
- Offer multiple options for materials. Consider including options like stamps and stickers, colorful tapes, and/or working on a digital device.
- Use a visual timer or music to pace the activity and indicate transitions.
Role of the Classroom Professionals
- Assist in distributing templates and other materials as needed.
- Participate in modeling and in art making.
Adjustments for Remote Instruction
Students can create their crests at home using paper or digital tools that allow them to draw and/or use internet images.
Students can then share their work with the class, by showing it on camera or sharing their screens.