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Curriculum Connections

Language Arts/English
Elementary School – Expression in Hands
How do hands express emotion? Discuss what emotions are expressed in the outstretched hands in this quilt. What other emotions can we express with our hands? Have a brainstorming session and write about what each hand gesture can communicate. As an extension, have students design quilt blocks with their own hand gestures and combine them together in a class quilt.

High School – The Color Purple
A version of this quilt was commissioned for the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple. Have the class read the novel and discuss what sewing and quilts symbolize in the story.

Elementary School – Variations
After discussing the different color combinations of hands and background colors, explore similar permutations using colored paper squares and circles. Give each student two squares of different colors and two circles of different colors. How many different design variations can you make (four)? Then try with additional squares and circles. How can you prove that you’ve found all of the possible variations?

Elementary School – Color Combinations
While looking at the quilt, discuss which hands stand out. What color combinations make the hands pop out the most? Why could this be? Discuss ideas such as complementary colors, value, and contrast. Using a wide range of colored paper, have the students create collages in which they produce vibrant color combinations that make different shapes stand out.


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