Jefferson’s Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities: Section 4- The Art of Calligraphy

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Middle School

Author Info

Darla Gerlach, EdD
Shaler Area Middle School
1810 Mt. Royal Boulevard
Glenshaw, PA 15101

Type of Lesson



Up to 1 month

Interdisciplinary Connections

This unit correlates with English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies curricula and Humanities curricula.



Students will learn the art of beautiful handwriting used in our nation's historical documents and everyday writing in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Prior Knowledge

Students will be provided with information on theart of calligraphy duringJefferson's and our founding fathers' era.

State Standards

PA Core Standards: Reading in History & Social Studies (6-8); Reading Informational Texts: CC.8.5.6-8.A,B,D-G,J; Writing in History & Social Studies (6-8); CC.8.6.6-8.A-I.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Students will learn calligraphy which can be utilized in projects in the unit "Jefferson's Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities" as well as other school projects.

Technology Connections/outcomes

This section is coordinated with the following sections: Jefferson’s Gardens: A Landscape of Opportunities: Introduction to Project-Based Learning and Instructions to the Unit, as well as:

Lesson 1 – APerpetuating Flower Garden

Lesson 2 – An Experimental Vegetable Garden

Lesson 3 – Jefferson: Creating Personal Space for Self-Reflection

Additional Learning Outcomes

Students will gain an appreciation of the importance ofhandwriting in historical documents.


  1. See PowerPoint "Art of Calligraphy" under "Handouts and Downloads" and Video of Calligraphy Demonstration under "Websites."

Related Assets

Handouts and Downloads


Materials Needed

See the video under "Website": Writing with a Quill Pen

Browse "Primary Documents & Jefferson Writings" for more information.