The National Center for Quality Afterschool

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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Visual Arts: Symbols That Stand for You!
Subject: Art
Grade span: 3 to 12
Duration: Two or three 45-minute sessions
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Expressing Yourself Through the Arts


Symbol: something that stands for or represents something else, for instance a skull and crossbones representing poison or pirates, an "X" representing a crosswalk in traffic, a pumpkin for Halloween, or a longhorn steer standing for the University of Texas football team. This lesson is one example of the Expressing Yourself through the Arts practice, and provides students an opportunity to explore the world of symbols through developing a symbol that will stand for them. As we look around us, we see numerous symbols telling us about something, whether it is about a person in relation to something (a sorority, a school, a gang), or an instruction about how to do something (as in traffic signs). What symbols mean and how they work can be very powerful.

Learning Goals:



What to Do:

Session 1: Understanding and Finding Symbols
What You Need Step-by-step: Session 2: Developing Personal Symbols
What You Need Step-by-step:

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.