Coat of Arms
During the Middle Ages, knights wore so much armor, including helmets, that they couldn't be told apart on the battle field. As a result, they started carrying shields and flags that depicted their coat of arms. The coat of arms had symbols called heraldry that identified individuals, families, countries, and sometimes institutions, such as The Church. No two families could have the same coat of arms.
Your assignment is to design your own coat of arms. The finished coat of arms needs to be on poster board or cardboard. Below is a list of web sites that can help you decide how you would like your coat of arms to look. You will need to write a description of what each of the colors and figures on your coat of arms represent.
You will also be writing the story of the family the coat of arms belongs to. Be creative, and have fun with this story.
The following sites explain what the symbols on the coats of arms mean.
Heraldric Charges - There are literally hundreds of different symbols (or charges) that can appear on coats of arms. The colors that are chosen and even the shape of the shield itself can have significance for the Family, Clan or Sept that was to bear the arms.
Symbolisms of Heraldry - Explains what the symbols and colors mean on each coat of arm
Coat of Arms and Surname Origins - Many pictures of coats of arms to choose from
Spanish Surname Coats of Arms
Coat-of-Arms of the Republic of Armenia
The Armenian Flag - Scroll down until you see the coat of arms
Armenia Religious Flags
To help you write your story, you may find the following websites helpful. They deal with life during the Middle Ages.
What was it really live in the Middle Ages?
Life in the Middle Ages
Life During the Middle Ages
A Knight's Tale
The Feudal System
A Monks Life
Between Ancient and Modern
Coat of Arms
- Coat of arms should be life size at least two feet by two feet
- Looks like a coat of arms
- Colorful (at least three colors)
- Must include the name of the family you are writing your story about.
- You may use your last name.
- The name needs to be written at the bottom of the shield in nice lettering.
- Must be neat
- Must use at least two symbols
- Symbols and colors need to be correct for the Middle Ages
- Must be on time
What the symbols and colors on the coat of arms mean
- On a separate piece of paper, you must include one paragraph about what the colors and symbols on your coat of arms represent. This page should be attached to your coat of arms.
- Story needs to be about a family living during the Middle Ages. You may use your last name as the name of the family.
- The story is a first person narrative describing your life in the Middle Ages as a member of a knights or nobles family.
- Must be descriptive and historically accurate.
- Must give details about your life. Describe daily life – life in the castle, clothes, food, activities, religious life, life of the serfs that live at your manor, your challenges and difficulties.
- Must write in blue or black ink or typed using a normal font no larger than 14.
- Complete sentences, spelled and punctuated correctly, no cross outs, neat, not messy.
- Headed correctly with title, name, date, period
- At least three (should be five) paragraphs
- Has to make sense
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