Let’s Go Gothic! (LS-ME-704)

In this learning scenario the participants will learn basic concepts of calligraphy and practice writing gothic letters. It demonstrates how calligraphy can be enjoyed with little or no previous experience and that good results can be achieved even with simple calligraphy tools.

Getting started

People who have no experience with calligraphy might think it’s a scary thing to do, but in fact calligraphy can be a really fun activity. I have found out that it’s much better to start practicing calligraphy with larger tools instead of small calligraphy pens. Larger tool allows one to better understand the physical movements calligraphy requires and the construction of each letter. Obviously a large brush, sponge or a self-made tool will not allow you to write as perfect a letter as with a metal pen, but achieving perfect results is not the main goal of this learning scenario. After introducing the basic calligraphy concepts to the participants, I suggest to encourage them to experiment with brushstrokes and letter proportions – it will help them get comfortable with the tool and loosen them up a little.


My experience shows that there might be two main challenges to be considered when implementing this learning scenario. One of them is how to demonstrate brushstrokes to the whole group of the participants. I used a board with an attached paper to do it. The other challenge I faced was explaining what it means to hold the brush at 45° angle. Most participants thought that it meant holding the brush handle at an angle instead of the tip. Even after explaining and demonstrating it I had to make sure that each one of them understood how it’s done. Be ready at this point to pause and go around the classroom to check it.

Demonstrating brushstrokes and letter construction

What did the participants think

I honestly don’t know what they were thinking while they were working, but the classroom was silent. It rarely is silent! In my experience calligraphy can be a relaxing activity and a classroom full of teenagers completely immersed in work is proof of that. Additionally, gothic script has something really cool about it which means the teens will like it. So go ahead and give it a go!

Practicing brush strokes
First gothic letters

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Rijksmuseum.

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