The ‘Coat of Arms’ strategy is a character activity that challenges students to connect with and understand the main character on a deeper level.
What students are challenged to do is both analyze the text and be creative. They will be given a blank coat of arms template and will be asked to draw pictures that symbolize something important about the character. After drawing pictures, they will write a one paragraph response to every picture that they drew. This is mostly a reading strategy because it makes the students read closely in order to discover essential details about the character(s). Since reading and writing are so closely related, it could overlap into a writing activity as well, but I felt more connected to it as a reading activity.
Students will read the short piece several times to analyze the character and look for detail. The students can also present their coat of arms to the class/to small groups which will allow them to practice reading their responses aloud.