Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Community Quilt

Manuel Bustamante


This lesson helps build communication between students, teachers, administrators, and parents. This is a wonderful lesson to promote English language learning in a culturally sensitive and respectful manner.


The student restates and rephrases simple information from materials presented orally, visually, and graphically in class.

The student provides simple information in spoken form (e.g., descriptions of family members, friends, objects present in his or her everyday environment, or common school and home activities).


-Computer with software capabilities to manipulate text and insert graphics from different sources.
-Digital camera
-Any other school materials that will help enhance the creativity of the child involved.


This lesson assumes that students involved already have a basic knowledge of computers and digital cameras. Teachers should make sure that these skills are present or can be taught through the use of collaborative and cooperative efforts.


1-Instruct students to form small groups (2-5 students per group).

2. Have students take pictures of themselves (portrait and group) using a digital camera. Note: Students should have working knowledge of how to use the camera or make sure every group has at least one person who has this knowledge.

3. Have students insert an image of themselves, a group and any other images that they would like to include in their piece of the quilt. The teacher may facilitate by modeling the steps required. You will need to circulate and help students size and place their pictures onto the pages. (pieces)

4. Text telling about the piece should be added onto the page. Examples include: Name, a word or two that describes the students, (cheerful, happy, excited, etc.)and names of family members (can include pets.) Many programs allow text to be superimposed upon the images or can follow the contour of an image adding to the fun of creating. It would be a good idea to list the specific pieces of text that are appropriate on the board. For ESOL students who speak very little English, add examples.

5. Pages (Pieces) of the quilt should be printed and touched up using crayons or similar art tools as per the choice of the student. Again, you will need to circulate to assist students. If you have time, show students the 'spelling and grammar' tools and explain their purpose.

6. The quilt pieces (pages) may then be placed and taped together onto a large piece of butcher paper.

7. More text using markers or crayons may be added to bring together the ideas generated by those involved.

8. Students may now discuss or present their 'pieces' to others in the class, parents, peers from other classes, and administration. Remind students to speak at a volume and a pace that can be heard.


4 points are awarded if the student is able to:
*use a digital camera effectively
*print his/her page successfully
*present quilt piece in the target language (describes self, images and text on the quilt piece)
*present quilt piece in primary language. (describes self, images, and text on the quilt piece)
(The last two should be the minimum. Anything else elaborated in target and primary language should be enthusiastically allowed.)

A student scores 3 points if at least 3 of the attributes are present.

A student scores 2 points if at least 2 of the above attributes are present.

Students who are having difficulty need corrective feedback immediately. Students who do not want to present in front of the class could present to you and a smaller group.

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


Students completing this lesson can help other students in different classes and grade levels in completing their own community quilt. These quilts can then be part of the open house activities apparent at the beginning of the school year. The activity can then be extended to include parents, further strengthening and broadening the school community.
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