Gee’s Bend Quilters: Culturally Responsive Teaching

Author: Trish Saccomano
Year: 2020
Artform: Visual Art
Subjects: Social Studies
Grade: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade & 6th Grade
Duration: 1 or 2 sessions
Overview:

Integrating visual art and social studies

SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES

  • Mixed media paper 12×12 inches
  • Painted paper scraps
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Watercolor / Tempura Paint
  • Assorted Collage Materials

 

RESOURCE PICTURE BOOKS & VIDEOS

Download PDF Lesson Plan

Standards & Objectives

Fine Art Standards
Integrated Standards
Objectives

CREATE

Conceptualize, generate, develop and organize artistic ideas. Refine through persistence, reflection, and evaluation.

CONNECT

Synthesize and relate knowledge with personal meaning relating to societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

3RD GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARD 2

Students will understand cultural factors that shape a community.

OBJECTIVE 1

Evaluate key factors that determine how a community develops.

Learning about the work of the Gee’s Bend Quilters and constructing an abstract quilt reflecting YOUR own story.

Teaching and Timeline

Introduction

Start the lesson with a picture book from the 30 Days Of Diverse Books For 2nd and 3rd Grade. Follow up with books and/or video clips specific to the Gee’s Bend Quilters suggested in the Historical Elements or Resources in this lesson plan.

Demonstration

Show pictures and examples of quilts made by the Gee’s Bend quilters. (Soulsgrowndeep.org has some excellent examples.) Invite students to create a 12×12 inch quilt square that tells the story of their families, traditions, history, and personality. Make and show a quilt square that represents you, the teacher.

Work Period

This lesson can be finished in a one or two hour sessions.

Closure/Summary

During a share session students can discuss and compare the details of their quilt squares. They will explain to their classmates the reasons behind the colors, shapes and designs they chose and how they represent THEIR personal story.

Display student’s quilt blocks together to make a classroom quilt mural.

INTEGRATION INFORMATION

4th Grade Literacy Standards of referring to details and examples in a text, determining a theme of a story, drama or poem

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS

What colors shapes and details of your story will you be able to capture in an abstract collage quilt square?

DIFFERENTIATION

Each students’ quilt square will be unique and their own. Based on the nature of the project self differentiation will occur through choice of color, paper selection, placement and design.

Students could choose to use watercolors, acrylic paint, printing materials, etc.

HISTORICAL ELEMENT

The women of Gee’s Bend in southern Alabama have created stunning, vibrant quilts. Through the following books and video clips students will learn about the history and culture of this fascinating group of women and their unique quilting traditions.

VOCABULARY
  • Collage
  • Culture
  • Individuality
  • Retelling a Story
  • Artist Statement
  • Rough Draft
  • Elements of Design
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

At the conclusion of the session students will share their quilt squares and explain the details and design elements they chose. All students will feel successful with the project because each individual quilt square will tell their story.

There are many possible assessment benefits that can be gained from the this type of project: oral language skills, understanding of different cultures, and awareness of individual’s place in the world.

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