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Textile Quilt

Discover the vibrant colors and patterns of traditional African fabrics! Students create a classroom textile quilt that explores diverse cultures.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. During an investigation of people living in various African countries, invite students working in small groups to choose a culture to research. Ask students to look for various textile patterns, colors, and motifs that are traditional to the groups. Ghana, for example, is known for both its Kente cloth and Adinkra cloth. Nigeria’s Yoruba people are known for their beautiful Adire cloth. Encourage students to study photographs or samples of these fabrics.
    2. Request students sketch possible designs with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Students choose at least one design to make a replica for a class quilt.
    3. Cut quilt pieces. Choose light-colored cotton or 50/50 cotton/polyester fabric. With Crayola Scissors, cut squares and rectangles of fabric that will fit together on the quilt. Be sure to include a wide border around each patch.
    4. When making the quilt, have students use your Crayola Fabric Markers to create beautiful African patterns on each quilt patch. Arrange them on a quilt-size backing. An adult can to carefully stitch patches together. Since the multicultural quilt is for display, there is no need to heat-set the colors.
    5. Students write labels for each unique pattern. List the name of the textile art, the country from which it came, and other information researched about the pattern’s origin. Display labels with the quilt.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) 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: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

    MATH: Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

    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.

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

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

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Spider Weaver: A Legend Of Kente Cloth by Margaret Musgrove; Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove; African Printed Textile Designs by Diane V. Horn

    Prior to working on fabric, students graph their patterns on the coordinate plane. Students may also color their graphic representation using Crayola Colored Pencils. In addition, challenge students to write directions for another classmate to duplicate the original pattern.

    Students write summary paragraphs to accompany their artworks. These writing pieces should include identification of which cultural art type influenced student work, as well as identification of the steps the student followed in creating the quilt piece.

    Organize student quilt pieces into a whole quilt. Ask the class to view the whole project from both a color and geometric standpoint when determining where pieces are placed for the final display. Do they tell a story?

    Encourage students to investigate the history of quilts in American history. Students prepare an electronic presentation of this research to share with classmates.


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