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My Friends’ Heritage Quilt

Showcase children’s family heritages and traditions with bright colors and distinctive patterns. These individual, no-sew quilt squares tell fascinating stories.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Organize students in a comfortable meeting area of the classroom, such as the reading rug. Ask them a few questions about their families, such as: What stories does your family tell? What makes you most proud of your heritage? What traditional clothing, artwork do they have? What music does the family listen to? Ethnic foods?
    2. Once the discussion has concluded, ask students to sketch some ideas for one or more quilt squares to depict their family story with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils.
    3. Prepare quilt squares. To make a uniform class quilt, cut fabric squares in the same size. Measure a 6 in. x 6 in. (15 cm x 15 cm) template on poster board. Students cut squares out with Crayola Scissors. Draw around the template and cut as many fabric squares as need. Cut a large piece of fabric to display everyone’s fabric squares.
    4. Provide time for students to decorate their squares. Create a border around each one with favorite patterns using Crayola Markers. Choose a favorite family tradition and draw it in the center of the fabric square.
    5. When assembling the quilt, begin by having students decorate a border around the background fabric. Stick four small, hook and loop fastener tapes on the back of each square and on the larger piece of fabric to attach the squares. As the class assembles the quilt, have each student explain his square to all of classmates.
    6. Display the class quilt in a prominent place in the school hallway to generate conversation by peers.
  • Standards

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace

    SS: Explore an describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

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

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco; The Leprechaun Trap: A Family Tradition For Saint Patrick's Day by David Clinch & Kelly Cinch; Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Guarza

    Prior to speaking with family members about traditions they follow, students collaborate in class to compose questions for family members. Word process students questions and provide a copy for each member of the class.

    Students research the history of quilting and how quilts have been used in history. Students organize research in an electronic format for sharing with classmates.


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