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Curriculum Connections

Language Arts/English
Elementary, Middle, and High School – Diamante Poems
Taking inspiration from the shapes and patterns in this quilt, have students create diamond-shaped poems using the diamante poem format. Discuss how patterns in language can respond to patterns in quilts.

High School – Gee’s Bend on the stage
The play Gee’s Bend, written by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, follows two Gee’s Bend women who face segregation, family struggles, and the turmoil of the Civil Rights Movement. Quilting provides comfort and context to their lives. It is a deeply personal story of family, self-discovery, and artistic expression.

Math
Elementary School – Exploring Four-Patch Patterns
Using either quilting tiles (one-inch squares and triangles that have two one-inch sides; available through ETA/Cuisenaire; etacuisenaire.com) or paper shapes with the same dimensions, have students explore the variations of four-patch designs. Each pair of students starts with twenty squares and twenty triangles (ten each of two different colors). Have them experiment with ways to arrange the pieces in a two-by-two square, making at least three different patterns. Groups then choose one design to share with the class. Which designs are the same configuration of squares and triangles? Remove duplicates and see how many different arrangements were found. Compare the designs and the shapes created. You can also try three-by-three squares, allowing for more design possibilities. Similar explorations can be pursued with sets of pattern blocks, which include additional shapes such as hexagons and diamonds.

Art
Elementary, Middle, or High School – Capturing Flight in Art
How have other artists represented flight or movement? For example, compare and contrast this quilt and Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space. What is each artist capturing about birds and flight? Find Bird in Space and other examples on ARTStor (artstor.org) and discuss similarities and differences. Have students create a work of art that captures their idea of flying.

 

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