QUILTS in the Classroom
"Covering" American History

Nora LeDuc and Kathi Mitchell

This project is made possible by the generosity of the
 SHOPA Foundation Kids in Need

Teachers Grants sponsored by

Ames Department Stores

Project Details          Pictures        Internet References        History

Purpose:          As students study different units in American History, they will create several quilt squares,
                    each  representing a different topic that they have studied. The squares will be combined to create a
                    quilt to take with them when they leave fifth grade. As they cover up at night, they can re-live what
                    they have learned about their country and the people who settled it.

   NH State Standards: Social Studies

*The students will demonstrate an understanding that people, artifacts, and documents
  represent links to the past and that they are sources of data from which
  historical accounts are constructed.

*The students will explain, using examples, how folklore, literature, and the arts 
 reflect, maintain, and transmit our national and cultural heritage.


  Objectives:       The student will study American history with a focus on what is important
                      and interesting (Ellin Keene reading comprehension model).
                      The student will make choices and write an explanation of his/her reasoning.

  Materials:        muslin for squares and backing
                            material for borders, edging, and connectors
                            fabric paints
                            fusible tape
                            quilt pins and needles for tying

Plan:     1. Students will select and write about one aspect of each United States history unit (Native Americans,
                 explorers, colonies, American Revolution, US government, Lewis and Clark, War of 1812, westward
                 movement etc.)

2. Each student will design ( on paper or with a computer ) a quilt square that represents each topic in #1
   above. They will create different squares representing the eras/topics of their study of American history.
   The simple muslin squares will contain student designs that use fusible materials, fabric paints, and/or
   photographic iron-ons that students create using a computer design program. Directions.

3. Students, with parent volunteers and teacher assistance, will complete a small quilt that will be a
   permanent reminder of their country's history and of what they learned about America when they were
   in fifth grade. Directions.

4. The teachers will scan a digital picture of each quilt for the class web page. Each student will write a
    description of his/her finished quilt, explaining the meaning of the designed squares and connecting
    them to what they have studied in American history.

5. Students will display their quilts and writing at a quilt show for parents and friends.


1.  Student writing about why they chose each particular topic for their design.
2.  Students will prepare a written description of their finished quilt to accompany the graphic on the web.
3.  The class will hold a quilt show for parents and friends at the completion of the project.

Pictures of Our Project:

The First Squares - https://kathimitchell.com/quilt/quiltpics.html
Preparing the Quilts
- https://kathimitchell.com/quilt/quilt4.html
Finished quilts and written descriptions
- https://kathimitchell.com/quilt/quilt5.html
Quilt Show!
- https://kathimitchell.com/quilt//quiltshow.html

Internet quilt references:

America Quilts: PBS Quilts in the Classroom - http://www.pbs.org/americaquilts/classroom/index.html
Carol Hurst - Quilts and Children's Literature -
Geometric design in Ohio Quilts -
Quilting With Children - Heddi Craft -
Kids in Need - SHOPA Foundation
   (This is the report about this project that was submitted to SHOPA.)

**Historical references on the Internet** - https://kathimitchell.com/quilt/quilt3.html

         Cobb, Mary. The Quilt-Block History of Pioneer Days - Millbrook Press, Brookfield, CT, 1995.
            Eikmeier, Barbara J. Traditional Quilts for Kids to Make - Martingale and Co.
            Paul, Ann Whitford. The Seasons Sewn. Voyager Books, Harcourt, Inc., San Diego, 1996.

       History links: 
            Link to a suggested booklist for children about quilts and quilting -
             Lesson Plans from National Geographic

Graphics from A Touch of Country

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This page was developed by Kathi Mitchell
and was last updated on September 9, 2004.