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Curriculum Connections

Language Arts/English
Elementary School – Objects Telling Stories
How do quilts tell stories? Lucy Mingo has said about quilts:
It looks like they have songs to them. You could tell stories about this piece, you could tell stories about that piece...They have songs to them.
Discuss what you think Mingo means by her statement. What kinds of stories and songs does this quilt convey? Ask students to think of an object at home that holds special memories for them or tells an interesting story. Have them bring their object in, write its story, and share with the class. The objects and stories could also be displayed together.

Social Studies
Elementary, Middle, and High School – The Civil Rights Movement
Lucy Mingo joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a march to Selma, Alabama, where she and other Civil Rights activists protested discrimination against African Americans. Ask students to research Dr. King, his speeches, and the marches and demonstrations he organized. What were the strategies, objectives, and outcomes? How did the involvement of people like Lucy Mingo help to bring about social change?

Middle and High School – The Great Depression
Lucy Mingo was born in 1931, at the beginning of the Great Depression. This was a time of hardship in Gee’s Bend due to the plummeting value of cotton. Have students learn about this time period in history and its impact on rural areas such as Gee’s Bend. Incorporate primary documents by having students visit the Library of Congress website to study photographs of Gee’s Bend taken by U.S. government photographers working for the Farm Security Administration: memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html; enter “Gee’s Bend” in the search box. What can we learn from about life in Gee’s Bend from these photographs? Why would the government have wanted to photograph Gee’s Bend and other poor areas?

Art
Elementary and Middle School – Patchwork Quilts Using Recycled Materials
Have students bring in scraps of cloth from home, such as old shirts, jeans, ties, or other fabric. Cut squares out of the usable parts, and have students sew or collage together simple four-patch or nine-patch designs.

 

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