Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Who Am I? My Coat of Arms

Irving Kohn


The students develop two Hyper Studio cards. One card depicts their coat of arms and the other card explains in a paragraph three reasons why they selected the pictures and/or symbols for their coat of arms.


The student understands various aspects of family life, structures, and roles in different cultures and in many eras (e.g., pastoral and agrarian families of early civilizations, families of ancient times, and medieval families).

The student focuses on a central idea or topic (for example, excluding loosely related, extraneous, or repetitious information).

The student uses electronic technology (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias) to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information.


-One computer for every 2-3 students
-Sample coats of arms from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (See Weblinks)
-Clip art of symbols for coat of arms (See Weblinks)
-Hyper Studio, PowerPoint, or multimedia software program
-Rubric, one per student (See Associated File)


1. The teacher should know the definition of heraldry and genealogy.
2. The teacher should have a working knowledge of Hyper Studio or another multimedia software program.
3. The teacher should know how to cut and paste pictures and symbols from the computer.
4. Download and copy the paragraph rubric for each student. (See Associated File)


1. Discuss what the term heraldry means with the students.

2. Show examples of coats of arms. (See Weblinks)

3. Ask the students to explain what the pictures and/or symbols mean.

4. Ask the students how a coat of arms describes a person or family.

5. Ask the students why people and/or families created a coat of arms during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

6. Ask the students to brainstorm what their coat of arms might look like and why they would use certain pictures and/or symbols.

7. Demonstrate to the class how to use a Hyper Studio program, PowerPoint or any other multimedia software program.

8. Demonstrate to the class how to use a clip art program and how to cut and paste clip art to a Hyper Studio card or PowerPoint slide.

9. Have the students research symbols and pictures using the Website on heraldry (See Weblinks) or other Websites, like, for their coat of arms.

10. Demonstrate to the students how they can make a folder to save their symbols and pictures for their coat of arms.

11. Circulate around the room assisting students in research and creating/completing their own coat of arms on the first Hyper Studio card or PowerPoint slide.

12. On a second Hyper Studio card or PowerPoint slide, have the students write a paragraph about their coat of arms explaining 3 reasons why they chose the pictures and/or symbols they did. Before assigning this, pass out the paragraph rubric (See Associated File) and review it carefully and completely with the students. Model how to write the paragraph from a sample coat of arms. For practice, have students assess the model paragraph using the criteria provided in the rubric.

13. If time allows, have the students present their Hyper Studio cards or PowerPoint slides to the class. (See Extensions #1)


1. Each student writes a paragraph explaining three reasons why he/she selected the pictures and/or symbols for the coat of arms. Assess the paragraph according to the rubric in the associated file.

2. In addition, formatively assess the student's ability to use electronic technology to create, revise, and retrieve information. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly. Note for future lessons those who require additional help.


1. Students can do an oral presentation instead of writing.
2. Students can work in pairs helping each other on the computer.

Web Links

The site has pictures and symbols of coats of arms. Since it contains much graphics, it may take a while.

Attached Files

Rubric for writing a paragraph     File Extension: pdf

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