What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? lesson plan

Which lettering style do you prefer? Fancy fonts? Serifs? Sans serifs? Write alphabet letters, names, or any words in several different fonts. Words take shape right before your eyes!

  • 1.

    There are many different ways to write the letters of the alphabet used for languages such as English, French, and Spanish. To research this variety of lettering styles, look at the different fonts (sometimes called type faces) on a computer or in a lettering text. You will find two primary styles: fonts with serifs (extended tops) and flourishes (tails of decorative letters), and sans serif (without serifs or unadorned) fonts.

  • 2.

    Choose your favorite font, or invent one of your own. Use Crayola® Crayons to carefully write your name in that type style in the center of your paper. Look closely at the letters as you write them. Make sure to include any serifs or flourishes in the font you chose. Notice the shape of each letter, relative sizes to other letters, whether parts of the letter extend above or below the line, and the curves of lines. Leave an even border of space around your name.

  • 3.

    Decorate the letters in your name, and the areas around them, with crayons and Crayola Washable Markers. Use your imagination to fill in the spaces with colorful details that complement the type style and your personal style.

  • 4.

    Trim the paper into a rectangle, or follow the shape of the letters, with Crayola Scissors.


  • Children become familiar with a variety of type fonts.
  • Young children and those with special needs practice writing the alphabet letters in their names. Older children find or invent more decorative lettering styles.
  • Children create original art with their names written in an interesting font as the centerpiece.


  • Try writing your name in several different fonts. Or write it with characters from other alphabets, such as the 24-letter Korean alphabet, which was founded by King Sejong in 1446. The Thai alphabet has 44 characters. Did you know there are thousands of c
  • Glue your name drawing to cardboard or a recycled file folder. Fold it in half to make a name card for your desk. Or punch two holes in the cardboard, then attach string for a sign on your bedroom door.
  • Some ornate fonts suggest organic elements such as plants or vines. Use one of these fonts to create descriptive name markers for your favorite houseplants. Decorate the margins with drawings of the plant or its flowers.