Creative Reuse Lesson Plan Fourth/Fifth Grade: Colonial America
Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10
Cost per student: $.05
Materials: 12”x12” paper for backing, fabric (you will need to cut it up into fairly uniform squares and triangles ahead of time, but any scraps will work [old clothing, leftovers from a pattern etc]. I am using fabric from sample books donated from an upholstery store), white glue (I am using my glue system with the paintbrushes), examples
Students will create a geometric quilt block reminiscent of colonial American quilts.
Elements of art: shape, space
Vocabulary: symmetry, pattern
1. Show students some examples of quilts (pictures and a real one if you own one) and notice the patterns and symmetry of the designs. Point out that while some colonists did quilt, it wasn’t as popular as weaving your own cloth, but it was a good way to use up little bits of material you might have leftover from making household goods. Quilting dates from the medieval times, so the colonists might have also brought over quilts from Europe.
2. Give the students a piece of paper as backing for their quilt block. After putting their names on the back, have them arrange a symmetrical design or other pattern using the fabric on top of the paper, without glue.
3. Have them raise their hand when they are ready for glue; that way you can kind of do a quick once over when you bring them glue to make sure they “get it” before all the fabric pieces get saturated and it’s too late. Have them brush a layer of watered down glue on the paper and replace their fabric pieces right back on top.
4. When everyone’s quilt block is dry, it makes a nice display to punch holes in the corners and tie them together with yarn to make one whole large “quilt”. Then just untie them when you’re done displaying it so everyone can take their portion home.