I am fascinated by most any kind of lettering art, especially that of the Medieval scribes. I had the privilege of seeing the Book of Kells while in Ireland this past summer, and it just intrigued me more. So, I put illuminated letters on my list of art projects for the upcoming school year.
First of all, I printed out three or four pages of examples of illuminated letters from a search. This gave the students some ideas. Then, if they wanted to, I would do a search for them specifically, like “illuminated letters 'M' ” and that way each individual student could find something that he or she really liked using their own initial. Next, I printed out the specific design that each one liked, and they began working on their own (freehand--no tracing allowed!) Here are the beautiful results.