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Geometric Quilt Blocks

Creating a quilt block is a great way to combine math, history, literature and art into one fun project.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Quilting dates back to colonial times. The process of making quilts involves math and geometry. A quilt block is a square made of 16 smaller squares. Each small square consists of two triangles. Symmetry is an important part of quilt making because the designs demonstrate different kinds of symmetry.
    2. Traditional quilt blocks have named patterns, like: Square Deal, Windblown Square, Pieced Star and Ribbons. Have students take a look at these traditional patterns in a book or on the internet.
    3. Students choose a quilt block pattern that they would like to make and observe its symmetry.
    4. Measure a piece of construction paper with a ruler and Crayola Color Sticks into an 8 in. x 8 in. (20.3 cm x 20.3 cm) square. Then measure and draw a grid of 16 2 in. (5.1 cm) squares.
    5. Draw additional lines to split the 2 in. (5.1 cm) squares into triangles following the chosen quilt block pattern.
    6. Use Color Sticks to color in the quilt block. Use different techniques while coloring like pressure variation to lighten and darken colors; cross-hatching with closely spaced lines; and layering colors to create different hues. Color Sticks are also great for broad strokes, shadows and highlights.
    7. When the quilt block is complete, finish it by mounting it onto another piece of construction paper in a contrasting color. Attach the quilt block to the construction paper with a Crayola Glue Stick.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.

    MATH: Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.

    MATH: Understand concepts of angle and measure angles.

    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.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Creative thinking and artmaking skills transfer to many aspects of life.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Log Cabin Quilt by Ellen Howard; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson; The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Pollacco; A Year in Poems and Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines

    Encourage students to research the history of quilts in American culture. Explore various time periods, including colonial times, slavery, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, Amish culture in America.

    Invite students to develop an original short story focused on their quilt creation. When was the quilt created? What materials were used in its making? What was the quilt used for? How did the quilt help those who created it?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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