World History sophomores create shields inspired by families The culture of the Medieval Era currently being studied

While searching the textbook for information on Medieval Times, sophomore Christian Toribio plans out his Coat of Arms. Toribio has planned to use the color gold to symbolize respect and a crow to represent a quiet life. "I enjoy the project because I get to showcase my art skills," Toribio said. Photo Credit: Cosette Zielinski

To teach students about the culture during the Medieval Era, World History teacher Christina McCoy assigned a project where students create their own Coat of Arms, or a family crest.

“[The purpose of the project is] just to look at symbolism in terms of your own family and historically what was used,” McCoy said. “A big piece of it is that most people [back then] weren’t literate, so a lot of the communication that they had was through pictures.”

Students are to represent their family through colors and symbols on a shield to be their Coat of Arms.

“I think this project will help us learn more about medieval times and how the knights were able to express their individuality and values while being fully armored,” sophomore Logan Sorge said. “My coat of arms uses reds and golds to a royal theme and implements the lion for courage and bravery.”

The shield have to have a medieval nickname, such as Charles the Great, divisions, ordinaries and a family motto.

“I like to see [students] be creative and also to be able to represent what they and their family believe in,” McCoy said. “The outcome is obviously a finished shield but more than that it embodies who they are and what they stand for.”

Students had one day to work in class, but they had the opportunity to finish the rest at home

“I think my favorite part of this project is designing and figuring out where all the things go on the shield,” sophomore Chasen So said. “In my Coat of Arms, I’m putting in an arm for hard work, Fleur de lis or the flower of light, horse for intellectual, unicorn for purity and a sword for honor.”

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