Personal Symbol Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students will create a symbol that reflects their own distinct sense of self and explains their artistic choices, helping them appreciate the development and usage of symbolism in art and literature.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Communicate the importance of symbolism
  • Identify important elements of a symbol
  • Create a symbol that figuratively reflects their distinct sense of self


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.


Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Symbolism
  • Abstract
  • Shape
  • Color


  • Paper
  • Pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, and/or other writing utensils


  • Ask the class to think about all the symbols they encounter on a daily basis.
    • What kinds of symbols do they experience? (Logos, school mascots, etc)
    • Why are symbols important? Why do we use them?
    • How do these symbols communicate their meaning?
    • How does color, shape, or degree of abstraction impact the effectiveness of a symbol?
    • How have humans used symbols to represent themselves throughout history?

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