Create a Coat of Arms
- Grade Level:
- Third Grade-Eighth Grade
- Colonial History, History
- 1 Hour
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- National/State Standards:
- SS.A.1.2.2, SS.A.6.2.2, LA.A.2.2.2
OverviewStudents will be able to create and label their own coat of arms using the descriptions and symbols provided in the activity sheets.
Students will be able to create and label their own coat of arms using the descriptions and symbols provided in the activity sheets.
Heraldry is the study or art of tracing genealogies, and the designing and granting of coats of arms. A coat of arms shows an individual's or family's history and heritage. During your visit to Fort Caroline, be sure students notice the coat of arms that is placed above the entrance way to the fort. The "eagle" was that of the colony's sponsor, Admiral Coligny (see if you can find the same coat of arms in the visitor center and the picture of Admiral Coligny). As you exit the fort, notice the shield placed on the back side of the arch. It has three gold fleur-de-lis' and was the royal coat of arms for France.
Two worksheets are required for this activity:
The worksheets for this activity contain information about the parts of a coat of arms, and a list of some possible meanings for the symbols that have been studied on historical coats of arms. Students will create their own coat of arms by choosing symbols they feel best represent them or their family. Have the students write out the meaning of their coat of arms and explain why they chose those elements.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS COULD...
-- If your textbook includes coats of arms or you have access to images of coats of arms, students could use the worksheets above to identify what the arms mean in terms of the colors, animals, and items chosen.
-- As a class activity, students could create a coat of arms for their school. They would choose the colors, animals, and objects that best represent their school's motto or goals. The class could ask the principal to visit and present the coat of arms to him or her.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS COULD...
-- During your trip to Fort Caroline, be sure students see Admiral Coligny's coat of arms in the visitor center or as they pass under the archway of the fort entrance. Notice that the shield is brown and the eagle is white with light blue talons, beak, eye, and crown. Once the students draw their own coat of arms, have them switch papers with a classmate. Each student will then interpret the coat of arms they received in front of the class.
This is an example using Coligny's arms:
Eagle displayed - an eagle with its wings spread symbolizes protection
Blue - truth and loyalty
Possible Meanings: Admiral Coligny was seen as a protective leader who was truthful and loyal to his country, or perhaps he wanted to symbolize, as a leader, the qualities of truthfulness and loyalty. As he was sending over his people to start a new colony in a new world he wanted to protect them and have them remain truthful and loyal to France.