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This lesson on Calligraphy is called “Write Me A Picture!”


Art, Language Arts  


9, 10, 11, 12  


Title – Write Me a Picture (Calligraphy)
By – Virginia Y. Martin
Subject – Art, Language Arts
Grade Level – 9-12
TN Curriculum Standard: Children need many opportunities to create art. Through creating art, children understand and experiment with various sources of inspiration for creative work. They develop their own ideas for expression and use their understanding of materials, creative problem solving, observation, and imagination skills. Children learn to select, control, and experiment with a variety of art tools, materials, and processes to create two and three dimensional forms. From creating their own works of art, children learn how and why other people create art and understand that art has personal meaning to the creator.

TN Curriculum Objectives:
#1. Create works in many art forms and art processes

#5. Experiment and explore with tools and materials, including clay and fiber, and demonstrate intermediate levels of craftsmanship

#8. Express ideas, feelings, and values in original works of art

Time frame: 6 class periods

Materials: paper, calligraphy pens, rulers, colored markers, chalks or water colors, mounting materials

Day 1: Show examples of calligraphy, including some completed projects from other classes if available. Demonstrate proper way to hold pen and create various strokes. Distribute lined paper and copies of the Calligraphy alphabet in both upper and lower cases. Have students practice making letters A-M. Ask students to be thinking of a short poem/part of poem, proverb or maxim which would fit on a single sheet of parchment paper. They should bring these to class on the third day of this unit. Remind students to write down the source of the quotation.

Day 2: Repeat demonstration of proper way to hold pens, then have students practice letters N-Z.

Day 3: Distribute pieces of plain paper the same size as what students will use for finished project. Students will use these to lay out their projects and experiment with spacing. Demonstrate how to measure margins and centering or other desired spacing. Have students rough out their quotes to be sure they will fit the paper. Students should include an original illustration that is suitable for the subject matter of the quote, and should include proper information for attributing the quote to its author/source. Instructor must approve rough design before they begin to work on parchment.

Days 4-5: Students will work out their designs on parchment paper using calligraphy and their choice of medium for the illustration. Finished project is due the end of last class period. (Additional time can be given for classes that work at a slower pace.)

Day 6: Help students mat their work for display in art room or other available space in school. If school has a web page, work can be scanned for posting on the web page.


Daily grades on first 2 days based on student’s effort to reproduce alphabet and attention to task at hand.

Daily grade on day 3 based on student’s attention to details of measuring and roughing out his project, including proper citation for author of quote.

Finished project:
appropriate/attractive spacing…30 %
neatness and correctness of letters….30%
illustration appropriate for quote…..15%
quality of illustration…………….15%
appropriate citation for source of quote…10%

Online resources:

Find examples of various alphabets you can print out

E-Mail Virginia Y. Martin !

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