Grade: Elementary
Subject: other

#1473. A Quilt is . . . .

other, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Dec 30 17:56:36 PST 1999 by Susan Nixon (
Cartwright School, Phoenix, USA
Materials Required: See lesson
Activity Time: Several class periods.
Concepts Taught: See lesson

A QUILT IS . . . .

Materials: A copy of the book A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, rough draft paper pencils, pre-cut covers, final draft paper, coloring utensils, publishing company stickers, long stapler, vocabulary list from unit (optional)

Objectives: 1. Students will write a book in the style of A House is a House for Me.
2. Students will publish their books using folded covers.
3. Students will show their knowledge about the early American art/craft of quilting and the terms used in the Social Studies unit.


Set: "Most of the time we think of quilts only as bedspreads, but they can be used for many things. Can you think of any?" (accept reasonable answers) "You all have good ideas. Today we're going to read a book that may give you other ideas. We're going to put your ideas in poem form and make our own books."

Read A House is a House for Me. Talk about the pattern and language in the book. Discuss the use of imagery and compactness of poetry. Have students suggest other things that are houses for something to be sure they understand the way the poet thinks.

Prewriting: Remind students of all the quilts and quilt patterns they've seen. (If this is not done as part of a social studies unit on early American crafts, bring in lots of pictures or actual quilts to share at the beginning of this lesson.)

Have students brainstorm a list of parts of a quilt. Ask questions like, "What could a quilt be a home for?" and "What could be a home for a quilt?"

Rough Draft: Tell students to use some of the ideas presented to make a list of ten or more sentences which could go into their own house book about quilts.

Share one or two ideas from previous student books and elicit one or two from the class.

You may wish to give the children a frame; either, "A quilt is a house for...." or ". . . is a house for a quilt."

Editing: Set up the editing process as it works in your room. Tell students to choose the sentences they like best and ask partners to be sure they fit the poem style. Then arrange them in an order they like.

Students read the final choices to their peer editors and mark any needed changes or revisions. Remind them to check for capitals, punctuation, and spelling.

Final Draft: Hand out pages for writing, prefolded if necessary. Have students do all the writing first, one sentence per page. Then have students illustrate their sentences. (To keep pages in order until they are put in the book, you might put one staple in the center.)
Hand out pages for title, dedication, author profile and other special pages you may require. Help students place these properly. Include 1 black folded sheet to be end pages. These may be decorated by students. They will be glued inside the cover.

Hand out covers. Help students space the title and author/illustrator appropriately on the cover.

Staple, glue, or sew the book pages together. Glue end pages to cover.

Share with classmates, if desired.
Place in library to be read by others, or take home.


If you have K-1, the same project could be used. Instead of each child making a book, each child could make a page in a class book. Each child could make a triorama showing one idea.

If you have 2-3, children could work in pairs to produce a book for the library or to share with another class to display what they've learned about the topic.


Ask children to bring to class a special piece of material that is special to them. This might be a blanket, a jacket, a shirt, etc., something so special they didn't want to throw it away even though it became old and ragged. (If they can't bring in something, they may still be able to share experience by telling about something they had to throw away and didn't want to."

Children may show and share their special pieces, if they choose to. Then they write a story or poem or explanation about the material and its uniqueness. Students might begin with this frame, "This material is from ____________. It is special to me because . . . ."


Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt. New York: Mulberry Books, 1983. (2nd grade math book, chapter 11 uses this one.)

Johnston, T., and dePaola, T. The Quilt Story. New York: Scholastic, 1985. (heritage of quilt and little girls who own it. westward expansion)

Jonas, Ann. The Quilt. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1984. (helping children deal with fears, imagination)

Laury, Jean Ray, Laury, R., and Laury, L. No Dragons On My Quilt. Paducah, KY: American Quilter's Society, 1990. (Great for patterning. Little boy can't go to sleep so grandma makes him a quilt. patterns included)

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988. (Winner of Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award. "A homemade quilt ties together four generations of an immigrant Jewish family....")

Tar Beach

Luka's Quilt