There are three options for this lesson, depending on class needs and time available:
1. Frame, Focus, and Reflection: students will watch a video segment about quilters.
2. Short hands-on activity: students will create an individual four-patch paper quilt block.
3. Project: students will create a class quilt of nine patch paper quilt blocks.
1. Frame, Focus, and Reflection (view and discuss): 1 class period
2. Short hands-on activity: 1-2 class periods
3. Project: 3-4 class periods
I can identify shapes used in quilt patterns in different orientations.
I can identify the rows and columns of squares used in some quilt patterns and count them.
I can fold and cut squares and triangles and work with them in different orientations.
I can collaborate with my peers to arrange rows and columns of squares and count the squares.
Arts and Humanities
I can discuss shapes and color schemes used in quilts.
I can use basic skills and the elements of art (shape and color) to create a four-patch paper quilt block.
I can use basic skills and the elements of art (shape and color) to create a nine-patch paper quilt and collaborate with my peers to create a class paper quilt.
Prep for Teachers
Background on terms and concepts needed is in the Quilting & the Elements of Art.
See “Basic Skills, Materials, and Equipment.”
For Short Activity:
Each student will need a 6” x 6” piece of cardstock and two sheets of colored paper, each 6” x 6”.
See “Basic Skills, Materials, and Equipment” for suggestions.
Each student will need a 9” x 9” piece of cardstock and two sheets of colored paper, each 9” x 9”.
Bulletin board paper large enough to accommodate all the 9” x 9” quilt blocks
Crafting Tradition 34:00-44:46
If possible, bring in a quilt to show to students at the beginning of this project.
Frame, Focus, and Reflection
Ask students if they have a quilt or special blanket. Ask if they know anyone who quilts, knits, or crochets.
Tell students you are going to do a paper quilt project and you want them to think about colors and shapes during the project. Show the PowerPoint, stopping to discuss the questions and to identify warm and cool colors in the classroom.
Explain that you are going to watch a video about three Kentucky quilters and talk about the shapes and colors they use.
Show Crafting Tradtion from 34:00-44:46.
35:53—This is called a nine-patch quilt because some of the blocks have nine patches in them. Count the rows and columns in each nine patch and the total number of squares. Count the rows and columns of the big squares that are visible (9).
If your class is ready for this, ask how many rows and columns that would be if all 9 of the large squares were divided into 9 smaller squares. How many squares would there be?
36:55—this pattern is called a flower garden. What shapes and colors do you see?
37:19—this nine patch shows different arrangements of triangles and squares and is similar to the class quilt you will create if you do the project. Take a moment to identify the triangles and squares and discuss how they are arranged to create different shapes.
Identify shapes at 38:27, 38:37, 38:56, 39:18, 39:28, 39:33, 39:36.
41:42—stop and talk about how the quilter is cutting with a rotary cutter and how she saves all of her scraps. Talk about quilting as a recycling art.
41:56—what did the quilter recycle in this quilt? This is another nine-patch quilt. Notice in this one that each patch is outlined with a rectangular border and that there are squares where the rectangles come together at the corners. When you make your class quilt, you may decide to have rectangular borders or not.
Discuss color scheme (warm and cool colors and values) at 42:09 and 42:13.
Count rows, columns, and squares at 42:54, 44:05 and/or 44:46. Ask, “Shall we count just the ones where we can see the whole squares? What if we add in the ones where we can see just part of the square? What if we add the ones we know are there but are not visible?”
If you plan to do the longer, nine-patch project, you can do this as a warm-up or just skip right to the project.
Review your discussions about warm and cool colors. Allow each student to select two sheets of colored paper. Allow freedom of choice as much as possible, but as students select colors, ask them to tell you if their colors are warm or cool (or possibly a combination if you are using multi-colored paper). Tell them that one sheet will be cut into squares and one into triangles. To cut the squares, they should fold the paper edge to edge. Model folding techniques for them and circulate to help them get the most even folds they can. Tell them to unfold the paper and ask what shapes they see (rectangles). How many? Now they should fold the paper edge to edge in the opposite direction and unfold it. Now what shapes do they see? How many? (four squares). Model how to cut with scissors wide open and have them cut the four squares and set aside.
To cut the triangles, students will follow the same process, but this time folding point to point. When they have cut their four triangles, have them fold each triangle point to point and cut in half, resulting in eight smaller triangles. Because they will be using only four of the triangles, you could save these scraps for a future art project.
Demonstrate how to line a triangle up in the corner of a square, lining up the edges and right angles. Model the type of gluing you want them to do (glue stick or white glue). Have them glue a triangle on each square. Discuss the resulting shapes. Now, distribute a piece of cardstock to each student and have them experiment with arranging the squares to completely cover the cardstock. If you wish, you can allow them to trade some of their squares with their classmates to have more colors in their blocks. Discuss the possible arrangements in terms of shapes, edges, and angles. When they have decided on the pattern they want, have them glue the squares to the cardstock.
If you are going to do the nine-patch quilt project, you can send these home with the students so that parents can see what you are doing. If you are not going to do the longer, nine-patch project, you can mount the four-patch blocks on bulletin board paper to create a class quilt if you wish. Lead a discussion about the color of the bulletin board paper to use. Remind students of your discussion about warm and cool colors. Do they want a warm or cool background color? Also, remember your discussion about value. Do they want a light tint, a dark shade, or a pure color for the background? As students express their opinions, ask them to explain their choices.
Next, discuss whether there should be a border around each block or borders only at the top, bottom, and sides of the quilt. If possible, spread the bulletin board paper out flat, or if not, hang the bulletin board paper on the wall so that all students can see it and engage in discussing how large to make the borders, how far apart to place the blocks, and which blocks should go in the same row or column. As students express opinions, ask them to explain their ideas, reminding them to use the proper arts terms.
Ask if you should use a ruler or yardstick to measure for the placement of the blocks. You might find it easier to do the actual gluing (or taping with double stick tape) without the students’ help, but it is exciting for them to help in the actual measuring and construction.
The process for making the nine-patch quilt blocks is the same as the four-patch except that students will have more options in terms of creating patterns and trading for colors. Display the class quilt in the library media center, hallway, or school lobby. If possible, have an unveiling ceremony and invite other classes, families, school council members, the principal, and/or district personnel as well as local media. Take photos for the school website.
Critique the Class Quilt
Lead students in the process of critiquing. You can do this orally or take the time to write it together. You can do the entire critique together or have students do the last one or two paragraphs on their own.
Describe: In this paragraph, you will describe the artwork (a quilt), the medium (type of paper), the process (folding, cutting and gluing), and the dimensions of the piece. How many squares and triangles were in each block (four-patch or nine-patch)? How many blocks are in the quilt? Are there borders around each block or just at the top, bottom, and sides?
Analyze: In this paragraph, you will analyze how you used the elements of art and principles of design. Ask students to recall the three main elements that you used. Begin with shapes. What shapes did you use? When you put the pieces together, what composite shapes did you create? Next, write about colors. Which warm colors did you use? Which cool colors? Is the quilt mostly warm, mostly cool, or a combination? What about value? Is the quilt mostly light, mostly dark, or a combination? Are there any blocks with strong contrast (light and dark, warm and cool) or any blocks that contrast with the background? Finally, discuss lines. Can they see lines in the quilt? Remind them that a line is created wherever two colors come together. Now can they see lines? Are there horizontal lines? Vertical? Diagonal? Are there thick lines (borders)?
Interpret: You might ask each student to write this part themselves. In this section of a critique, you talk about the purpose of the artwork. Can this be used to keep you warm at night or is this for decorating the wall? Does it have a personal meaning to you? Does it remind you of anything (such as a quilt you have at home)?
Evaluate: You might ask each student to write this part themselves. In this section of a critique, you state whether you think the art is well done or not. Is it something you’d like to see displayed in the school? Is it something you’d like to have in your home? If you were to do it over again, would you make any changes?
What are the indicators of student progress toward or achievement of each learning target?
Math Assessment Problems
Observation and informal questioning throughout. Monitoring participation in class discussions and use of proper terminology.
Exit slip: describe the shapes you used in your quilt block. How many triangles are there? How many squares?
Arts and Humanities
Observation and informal questioning throughout. Monitoring participation in class discussions and critique and use of proper terminology.
Exit slip: describe the colors you used in your quilt block. Were they warm or cool colors? Were they light or dark or in between?
Where does this fit in? How should you document it?
This activity contributes to your school’s overall efforts in art programming in several areas, depending on whether you implement just the Frame, Focus, and Reflection portion or you implement the entire project.
Document with lesson plan and samples of student-generated problems and scripts. If possible, record the process or take pictures of the process and final product.
Curriculum and Instruction: Aligned and Rigorous Curriculum
a) To what extent does the school ensure that the arts curriculum encompasses creating, performing, and responding and is fully aligned with the Kentucky Core Academic Standards?
b) To what extent does the school ensure that the arts curriculum provides for the development of arts literacy in all four arts discipline and also utilizes the Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts?
c) To what extent does the school ensure that the school’s curriculum provides opportunities for integration as natural cross-curricular connections are made between the arts and other content areas?
d) To what extent does the school ensure that the arts curriculum includes the study of representative and exemplary works of dance, music, theater, and visual arts from a variety of artists, cultural traditions, and historical periods?
Curriculum and Instruction: Instructional Strategies
a) To what extent do teachers systematically incorporate all three components of arts study: creating, performing, and responding into the arts?
b) To what extent do teachers provide models of exemplary artistic performances and products to enhance students’ understanding of an arts discipline and to develop their performance/production skills?
c) To what extent do arts teachers provide for the development of artistic theory, skills, and techniques through the development of student performances or products that are relevant and developmentally appropriate for students?
Curriculum and Instruction: Student Performance
a) To what extent are students actively engaged in creating, performing, and responding to the arts?
b) To what extent do students identify a purpose and generate original and varied art works or performances that are highly expressive with teacher guidance?
c) To what extent do students, with teacher guidance, routinely use creative, evaluative, analytical, and problem solving skills in developing and/or reflecting in their artistic performances and products?
d) To what extent do students use written and verbal communication to objectively reflect on exemplary exhibits and live or technologically provided performances as classroom assignments?
Formative and Summative Assessment: Expectations for Student Learning
To what extent do teachers utilize exemplar/models to encourage students to demonstrate characteristics of rigorous work in the appropriate art form in most instructional lessons/units?
Formative and Summative Assessment: Assessment for Teaching
To what extent do students regularly reflect on, critique, and evaluate the artistic products and performances of others and themselves as is grade level and age appropriate?
Lesson Creators: Debbie Jackson Wagers, Karen Day and Judy Sizemore