Skip to content
Would you like to visit your local site?


We noticed you’re located in New Zealand. There isn't a local site available. Would you like to visit the Australian site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


Skip to Content
Back to Become a Creative Champion with Crayola
Sign Up!
Skip to Navigation

Gee's Bend: Tell Me a Story

Visualize a journey that incorporates no technology other than one’s own feet. Students re-imagine the passage of North Carolina Blacks from their home in North Carolina to the land known today as Gee’s Bend in Alabama.

  • Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Share the reading of Patricia McKissack’s, Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt, with students. Discuss how Gee’s Bend inhabitants share stories of their ancestors through the art of storytelling. Allow time for the class to share personal family stories and discuss how they learn about the past through this art of storytelling.
    2. Provide students with research articles that discuss how the community of Gee’s Bend became inhabited by Blacks from Halifax, North Carolina. Invite students to discuss what it must have been like to travel such a great distance by foot. What was the terrain like throughout the trip? What is the weather typically like in this region of the United States? How did people feel during this long trip? What did families do to help each other endure the long journey? Allow time for discussion.
    3. Ask students to describe the meaning of the statement, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” How can a picture tell a story?
    4. Provide students with Crayola® Watercolors, Watercolor Paper, Construction Paper Crayons, paint brushes, containers of water and recycled newspaper.
    5. Invite students to create a painting that helps to tell the story of the families from Halifax, North Carolina traveling by foot to Gee’s Bend. Encourage them to keep the terrain in mind as they create and think about the expressions on people’s faces as they walk. Once drawing and painting is complete, allow pictures to dry overnight.
    6. Using their own artwork or that of a classmate, students compose a story to accompany the painting. Students should be prepared to share their story orally, in a manner similar to that of the characters in Patricia McKissack’s book.
    7. Provide class time for students to practice the art of storytelling by sharing their paintings and stories as a whole class or in small groups.
  • Standards

    LA: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively and orally.

    MATH: Represent and interpret data.

    SCI: Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

    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: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.

    VA: Compare one's own interpretation of a work of art with the interpretation of others.

    VA: Identify how art is used to inform or change an individual’s or society’s beliefs, values, or behaviors.

  • Adaptations

    Invite students to create a map documenting the trail Blacks from Halifax, North Carolina took when traveling from Halifax to Gee’s Bend. What states did they walk through? What landforms did they traverse? What weather did they encounter?

    Create a journal documenting a portion of the journey to Gee’s Bend. What were the travels thinking? How were they feeling? How did they feel about leaving Halifax for an unknown land? Encourage the inclusion of sketches of what was seen along the journey.

    Investigate the history of the era. What would entice a plantation owner to move his home so far away from North Carolina?


Share this Lesson Plan

  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
Back to top