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Anatomy of a font


This lesson aims to teach students about fonts, and their appeal in design for print and online publications. Students will learn the vocabulary for various parts of each character in a font.


  • Students will label each component of a font.
  • Students will be able to 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.


45 minutes (with a quiz to administer the following class period)


Handout: Anatomy of type

Handout: Anatomy of type key

Slideshow: Anatomy of type

Handout: Anatomy of type defined

Handout: Anatomy of type defined key

Handout: Anatomy of type labels

Lesson step-by-step

1. Introducing vocabulary — 20 minutes

Distribute Distribute Handout: Anatomy of Type and Handout: Anatomy of Type Defined. Present the Anatomy of Type slideshow, and as you explain each part, instruct students to label each part on the Anatomy of Type handout. As you discuss each definition, students will mark the correct term with the definition on their paper.

2. Skill development and practice — 20 minutes

After you’ve explained each slide of the presentation and addressed any questions, distribute Handout: Anatomy of Type Labels. Using only the list, students will practice labeling each component of a font on their own. After finishing their labeling, students will compare answers with a partner. If there is a discrepancy, students will discuss their reasoning for the incorrect label and see if they can reach an agreement about the correct answer. After partner groups discuss, conduct a large group discussion to go over the answers in class, explaining or reteaching as needed. Students should mark incorrect answers on their papers and note areas for improvement.

3. Closure — 5 minutes

As you address any remaining questions, assign students to use their corrected handout to study for the upcoming quiz.


Quiz: Font Classification and Identification to be administered in the lesson The One and Only Font.