These crazy, cold winter months lend itself perfectly to introducing a quilt unit. Quilts are such a part of our American history that they are an ideal visual to speak to pioneer life as well as the Underground Railroad. I also like to use quilts to inspire writing, poetry and art on the subject of diversity, friendship and the life lessons of peace and working together. To top it all off, they are great for introducing the math concept geometry. So, if you run centers, you would have history, writing, art and math covered. I love it when a theme lends itself to so many subjects!
BOOKS: There are many beautiful and meaningful quilt books to use to introduce the many concepts.
1. Story quilt: A wonderful idea from litcircles.org where quilt squares represent chapters, characters or scenes from a reading book.
2. Story writing prompt based on Faith Ringgold's story quilt "Tar Beach" from createartwithme.blogspot.com.
3. Friendship Quilt for K-1st from Debbie Clement.
1. Oxcart Man Colonial activity wagon and goods from popgoesthepage.princeton.edu
2. Oregon Trail Adventure: Quilt Wall Hangings from love2learn2day
3. Pioneer Crafts for Kids from The Crafty Classroom.
4. Freedom Quilt from kstoneclass.blogspot.com
5. Our Freedom Quilt by Classroom Freebies Too.
6. Underground Railroad:Quilt Squares sold by Teacher Pay Teachers.
7. Additional books to reinforce the Underground Railroad:
MATH: Quilting and geometry go hand in hand as it both requires fitting geometric shapes together. This is an example of one of the quilt patterns from one of our math programs, but you could easily design a few of your own for your class. I ran enough for the class and a few extra to be cut up for each child to have a pattern to move and copy as they colored in the larger square. They then picked out three colors and their preferred design, colored it, and had all the squares taped together for a class quilt.
LIFE LESSON: I love to take the image of the quilt with all of its diverse pieces sewn together to create one beautiful design, and compare it to how diversity of our nation or any other nation can meld to make one beautiful nation! I have used "Beautiful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace" by Anna Grossnickle to reinforce this concept.
1. "The Quilt Story" audio book.
2. "The Quilt" written by Ann Jonas and read by Angelica Ortiz.
3. "Keeping Quilt" read by author Patricia Polacco.
4. "Tar Beach" read by author Faith Ringgold.
Have fun quilting! debbieseftonart.com