Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Class Quilt

Joy Whithaus
Hillsborough County Schools


This activity will promote acceptance of diversity within the classroom through the creation of a class quilt. Students will evaluate the final product to find commonalities with other students.


The student writes questions and observations about familiar topics, stories, or new experiences.

The student listens for a variety of informational purposes, including curiosity, pleasure, getting directions, performing tasks, solving problems, and following rules.

The student understands that history tells the story of people and events of other times and places.

The student uses two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, techniques, tools, and processes to depict works of art from personal experiences, observation, or imagination.


-[Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky] by Faith Ringgold (Crown Publishing, December 1995, ISBN 0517885433)
-8 inch squares of white paper (one for each child)
-9 inch squares of construction paper in several colors (one for each child)
-Crayons or markers
-Pencil and paper
-Model quilt square

Optional: Real family quilts


1. The teacher will need to gather and prepare the materials.
2. Pre-cut the paper squares to the appropriate sizes.
3. Prepare a model quilt square.


Session 1
1. Optional: Hold up a family quilt in the front of the class. Ask: Do you know what a quilt is? Do you know how some quilts tell stories? Allow members of the class to share answers and experiences. Share with them that quilts can tell stories through their patterns, fabrics, and designs.

2. Explain to the class that Faith Ringgold tells her stories through the quilts that she paints. Read to the class [Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky] by Faith Ringgold.

3. Explain to the students that they will each participate in making a class quilt. Ask each student to think of a special time in his or her life (e.g. reunions, losing a tooth, baby sister/brother is born, visiting grandma, etc.).

4. Hand out the supplies for making the quilt squares (one 8-inch square, one 9-inch square, crayons or markers, and glue for each student). Follow these instructions:
-Draw a scene depicting the setting, characters, and event on the white square and color it.
-Glue the completed picture to the 9-inch square, taking care to center it.
-Write your name on the back.

Session 2
5. After the class has completed the activity, hang the squares on a wall or bulletin board in a quilt fashion. Do this by taping the squares together.

6. Ask the students to face in the direction of the quilt and listen carefully. Call one student at a time to the front of the class and give that student a short interview. Ask the following questions:
Who is on your square?
-Where did this event take place?
-What are they doing?
-When did this event occur?
-Why is this event important to you?
-How did this event make you feel?

7. To conclude the lesson, ask each student to write three similarities that he or she found common with other students. (Examples: I feel happy on my birthday. My family celebrates Kwanzaa. I have a younger sister.) You may want to model this for the class by first asking volunteers to share commonalities they have with other students and then listing these on a board or chart paper.


Assessment of art activity:
The student created a quilt square, using the materials, depicting the setting, characters, and event of a particular time in his or her life.

Assessment of speaking/interviewing skills:
The student verbally communicated with the teacher and class
the who, what, where, when, why, and how of a particular event in his or her life through the interview session in front of the class.

Assessment of listening skills:
The student listed three similiarities that he or she discovered to be in common with another student or students in the class after listening to each student's interview session and viewing the class quilt.


ESOL/ESE modifications:

Allow ESOL/ESE students extra time to work.
Allow ESOL/ESE students to receive help from a classmate.
Allow ESOL/ESE students to use references and resources if necessary.

* There are many extensions to this activity. Faith Ringgold's book can easily be incorporated into a more extensive history lesson on the Underground Railroad. Also, the quilt squares can be made using other media, such as fabric and paint.

Web Links

Web supplement for Class Quilt
Faith Ringgold

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