Royal Letter Seals

Royal Letter Seals lesson plan

Send off top-secret, highly classified letters with a royal flair! Seal them like kings used to do, with bright red seals.

  • 1.

    Long ago, people’s letters were hand-carried to recipients. To keep their words private, they folded the letter and put a spot of melted red wax over the edges. To prove they were the sender (and to reveal if the letter had been opened before it was delivered), they pressed their insignia or seal into the wax. Find examples of this practice in myths and history, such as in royal and military correspondence.

  • 2.

    To make your own seal, roll a tiny ball of Crayola® Air-Dry Clay. Press it flat with your hands. Then press objects, such as a marker cap, coin, or leaf into the clay to make a pattern. Air-dry your seal at least 24 hours.

  • 3.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Paint your seal red with Crayola Tempera Paint and Brushes. Air-dry the paint.

  • 4.

    Write an important letter with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. You can easily make corrections! Address the envelope and insert the folded letter.

  • 5.

    Use Crayola School Glue to attach your red seal to the flap for maximum security. Air-dry the glue before you give your letter to a friend to deliver it.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Encourage students to write letters to "send" in a second language that they are engaged in learning. If possible, ask the world language teacher to assist with this writing. Display letters in a public place in the classroom or school.
  • Students investigate military and government correspondence during the American Revolution. Students take on the role of an American general or a member of the Second Continental Congress. What might be in your letter to Congress? What might be in a letter send from a member of Congress to a Continental General? Create such correspondence and close it with your original seal.
  • Investigate how long, on average, a letter took to get to the addressee during the colonial period in America. Investigate that same event in contemporary times. How does our modern postal system work? How is it funded? How is it organized? How many pieces, on average, does the postal system handle in a year? How has the Internet impacted the job of the postal system? Students organize research into an electronic format in preparation for presentation to classmates.