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Lesson: Why the Font?


Why the Font?


In this lesson, students will create a motivational quote poster, choosing a font that is most appropriate to convey the tone of the message


Students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of font choices. They will create a motivational quote poster for the classroom, applying different fonts to the design until the font choice fits the tone of the quote.


  • Students will label each component of a font.
  • Students will define each component of a font.
  • Students will apply their knowledge of the anatomy of type to correctly label a sample.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA.Literacy.W-9-10.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of a subject.
CCSS.ELA.Literacy.L.9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
CCSS.ELA.Literacy.L.9-10.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
CCSS.ELA.Literacy. L.9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills — Student Outcomes 

Learning and Innovation Skills Creativity and Innovation
Life and Career Skills Initiative and Self-Direction
Productivity and Accountability


45 minutes


Handout: Motivational Quote Sample

Computers with desktop publishing software

Optional: Link to 3.3a: How to Cite Sources (via

Lesson step-by-step

1. Introduction — 15 minutes

As a warm-up activity, invite students to share some of their favorite motivational quotes. Then explain that students will search for a motivational quote to use in a poster to inspire their classmates. Students will cite their sources for their research. Use your school’s standard method for citations, or consider using the guidelines presented in as a guide how to use

2. Application — 25 minutes

After students have finished their research, they will create a motivational quote poster with their chosen quote. Use Handout 3.3b: Motivational Quote Sample to show students how a font choice makes a difference. After typing the quote, students will experiment with the size and font choice to create a look that most effectively portrays the tone in the quote. After choosing a size and font choice, students will apply color to the quote to highlight any key words or phrases they choose.

3. Closure — 5 minutes

When finished, students will print or digitally submit their motivational quotes. If time permits, ask students to share with the class and explain why they chose the particular font they did. If you have a class website or digital classroom, consider exporting these as .jpg files to build into a simple slideshow, which you can embed on your site or assign students to view and analyze as a follow-up activity or formative assessment using Internet access. Select a few posters around the room to inspire the staff or hang a different one each week.