Arts of Asia in Reach
Japanese Family Crests Lesson Plan
1. Lesson Overview

A Lesson for Langston Middle School, Students Ages 11 to 13, Grade 6
Designed by Loren Fawcett, Education Assistant, Allen Memorial Art Museum


Japanese Crests (Mon)

  1. Students will brainstorm ideas and create five (5) thumbnail sketches for a crest that represents either themselves, their group of friends, or their their family.
  2. Make revisions to their favorite sketch using photographs as references.
  3. Create a their final crest on contrast-o paper.
  4. Exhibit their crests along with an explanation of the symbols.

Academic Content Standards

  1. Visual Arts
    • NA-VA 5-8.3: Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
    • NA-VA 5-8.4: Students describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.
    • NA-VA 5-8.5: Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art.
    • NA-VA 5-8.6: Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context.

Ohio State Standards
  1. Social Studies
    • Compare cultural practices, products, and perspectives of past civilizations in ire.
    • Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence the behavior of people living in a particular culture.
    • Demonstrate skills and explain the benefits of cooperation when working in group settings
    • Demonstrate self-direction in tasks within the school community
    • Obtain information from oral, visual and print sources.

  2. Math
    • Use mathematical strategies to solve problems that relate to other curriculum areas and the real world; e.g., use symmetry in artwork.

  3. Visual Arts
    • Benchmark 1A: Compare and contrast visual forms of expression found throughout different regions and cultures of the world. Identify universal themes (e.g., family, good versus evil and heroism)conveyed in artworks across various times and cultures.
    • Benchmark 1D: Research the role of visual art in selected periods of history using a variety of primary and secondary sources (e.g., print, electronic media and interviews with a museum curator).
    • Benchmark 2A: Demonstrate skill in changing (e.g., exaggerating and transforming) natural forms for expressive purposes.
    • Benchmark 2B: Explore ways that art making functions as a means of personal identification and expression. Use observation, life experiences and imagination as sources for visual symbols and images.
    • Benchmark 3A: Use appropriate vocabulary to identify the content in works of art created for different purposes(e.g., functional, decorative, and social and personal).Explain how art elements and principles are used in artworks to produce certain visual effects (e.g., dynamic tension, textured surfaces, patterns and designs).
    • Benchmark 3B: Interpret selected works of art based on the visual clues in the works.
    • Benchmark 5C: Compare the ways that selected ideas and concepts are communicated through the perspective of visual art and through the perspectives of other academic disciplines.


an emblem for display symbolizing family, a clan, or an idea

Japanese word for crest

Japanese word for family crest

picture or symbol used in a writing system Symbols: signs or marks that represent something else

Continue to: 2. Lesson Materials