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Patchwork Quilt

Create a patchwork quilt without sewing. Combine imagination with geometry and Crayola® Ultra Clean Markers to design a cool contemporary version of a warm, beloved tradition.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. The craft of quilting goes back at least to ancient Egypt. It is still done today in countries around the world. Kuna Indians, for example, use quilting techniques to make Molas, in which they layer, cut, and stitch cloth to create intricate patterns. Organize students into small groups. Ask each group to research quilting in a selected culture. Provide a variety of text and electronic resources for students to use during this research assignment.
    2. When research is complete, student groups organize their new learning into a presentation for classmates. Each group will also create a contemporary quilt as a visual for their presentation that reflects the culture investigated by the group.
    3. To begin the contemporary quilts, students draw one irregular shape on white construction paper with a Crayola Ultra Clean Marker. Use straight or slightly curved lines for the edges (these shapes would be easier to sew, if making an actual quilt).
    4. Color in the shape with markers. Encourage students to add patterns to the patch as desired.
    5. Repeat this process, making one piece at a time. Use one side of the patch made before as the beginning edge for the next one. Keep adding patches until the entire paper is "quilted."
    6. Add additional patterns to the outer edges of each patch for a polished look to finish the quilt.
    7. Student groups display their quilts during presentations to classmates. Encourage groups to integrate the quilt visual into their presentations.
  • Standards

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

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

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

    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.

    MATH: Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.

    MATH: Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.

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

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context.

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

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt by Patricia McKissack; The Quilt Story by Tony Johnson & Tomie DiPaola; The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud

    African-American author Faith Ringgold tells story using story quilts. In small groups or as a whole class, read one of Ringgold's books such as Tar Beach. Pay particular attention to the illustration provided throughout the story. How do Ringgold's quilts compare to patchwork quilts? How does each type of quilt tell its own story?

    Students create original patchwork quilt designs by using the coordinate plane to map out patterns and geometric shapes. Color the patterns using Crayola Colored Pencils.


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