Lesson Plan

Stories in Quilts

A quilting party in an Alvin, Wisconsin home.
Photo caption

A quilting party in an Alvin, Wisconsin home.

Quilts and other cloth-based narrative art are part of many cultures. Made by hand -- often collaboratively -- using familiar materials such as scraps of clothing, quilts are both personal and communal objects. Quilting continues to be largely a home-based form of women's artistic expression.

Quilts can be works of art as well as stories through pictures. They also tell a story about their creators and about the historical and cultural context of their creation (quilting bees, historical and personal events) through the choices made in design, material, and content. Heighten your students' awareness of how quilts tell stories that reflect the lives of the people who create them, and that record the cultural history of a particular place and time.

Guiding Questions

What is a quilt?

What is a quilt made of?

What is a story quilt?

How are quilts used to tell stories?

What kinds of stories can be told through quilts?

How are art and history connected through quilts that tell stories?

How have story quilts been used as part of our identities, families, and cultures?

Learning Objectives

Explain what a quilt is and what a story quilt is.

Identify elements in quilts, such as colors, shapes, patterns, and symbols.

Realize that quilts can be objects of both everyday use and art.

Understand how stories are related through art objects such as quilts.

Understand how quilts and other cloth-based art forms are used to preserve family and community traditions.

Recognize that people of different countries and cultures use cloth-based art forms to pass down their traditions and history.