Title: Fun with Fonts!

Grade Rage: Secondary


Calligraphy can be fun with a few ideas, a goal in mind, and a little …or… lot of practice!


Download the lesson plan in .pdf here



  • The student will experience and develop control of drawing tools through control of strokes and pressure.
  • The student will create a poster design using brush markers exhibiting two or three lettering styles.



  • Calligraphy lettering using brush markers teaches student tool control and spacing.
  • Poster design encourages students to think of a complete image so words and flourishes become interesting design elements to convey a message.



  • Maped Color’Peps Jungle Fine Tip Washable Markers x24 [845422]
  • Maped Color’Peps Ultrawashable Brush Tip Markers x10 [848010]
  • Maped Unbreakable 12” Ruler [245649]
  • Maped Essentials Triangular Graphite #2 Pencils [851779ZT]
  • Maped Classic 1 Hole Metal Pencil Sharpener [006600] (optional)
  • Practice paper, copied worksheets, notebook & graph paper
  • 11×14 white poster board, Bristol board or card stock for a backer (optional)



  • Calligraphy: The art of beautiful lettering. Focus is on control of pen; pen strokes; consistency of letter height and slant; pressure applied to strokes to control thin and thick line variety; and spacing.
  • Serif: The little “feet” on strokes of a letter. (Ex: Times Roman font has consistent extra strokes at the ends of letter strokes.)
  • Sans-serif: Lettering that does not have the extra “feet” or strokes on the letters (Ex: Gothic alphabet)
  • Base line: The bottom of your letters rest on this line.
  • Midline: Indicates the height of the body of the letters to keep them consistent.
  • Ascenders: The part of a letter that goes above the midline of the body of a letter.
  • Descenders: The part of the letter that extends below the base line. The ascenders and descenders make the words more legible.
  • Flourishes: The decorative lines on your lettering and around your words.


Overview & Directions:

  • Before you begin, the computer is a great asset for you to explore brush lettering. There are many free worksheets downloadable to help your students practice upper and lower case lettering as well as flourishes. An alternative to printing off worksheets is to give your students white paper to rule off, notebook paper, or graph paper, but having examples ready for the students to study and emulate are valuable for their understanding and positive results. You can also purchase calligraphy practice paper, but it is more expensive. Consider taking your students to the computer lab to research brush lettering. It is an excellent way to generate ideas and excitement for possibilities in their own artwork. Or, simply instruct students to look up brush lettering at home. Have them also research poster designs using hand drawn lettering.
  • Have your students research calligraphy with brush markers to generate ideas and discuss vocabulary.
  • Students will need to select a phrase or sentence for their poster design. (This can be a wise saying, a meaningful quote, etc. By deciding on this early, it will give you an opportunity to approve it before the students begin actual work on the poster design.)
  • Using a pencil and notebook paper, practice upper and lower case alphabets paying attention to body consistency in height and slant, as well as ascenders and descenders and spacing.
  • Use a fine line marker to practice strokes of the upper and lower case alphabets. Watch your spacing and consistency of strokes!
  • Think about their wise saying for their poster design and do extra practice on those letters.
  • Next, take a brush marker and practice adding pressure and lifting pressure for varying the thick and thin lines. Practice the alphabet upper and lower cases.
  • Go back to your fine tip marker and practice flourishes (simple and more complex) before they practice flourishes with pressure on their brush pens.
  • Poster design rough draft: Use thumbnail sketches to design the best arrangement for the wording and flourishes. On an 11×14 sheet of white paper, draw out the best design so it fills the paper, balances the words, spaces, and flourishes.
  • Transfer rough draft to poster board.
  • Practice lettering on scratch paper to decide on best styles and flourishes for your design.
  • Use brush markers on your poster. When ink is dry, erase any stray pencil marks.


Discussion Topics & Evaluation:

  • Evaluation: Did the students truly understand the vocabulary, and make use of it during their project? Do they have examples of multiple styles of font (serif, sans serif, etc.)? Are all their letters sized and spaced evenly?


Did you like this lesson plan? Share your creations on social networks with the hashtag #MapedDIY , we will be delighted to see what you’ve made! And find all our tutorials of creative activities online.

See you soon!