Grade: Elementary
Subject: Literature

#3662. A Dreamer's Cloak

Literature, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Feb 12 10:36:03 PST 2006 by Cleve Couch (
Gettys Middle School, Easley, South Carolina
Materials Required: Construction paper, brown lunch bags, scissors, glue,
Activity Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Concepts Taught: Integrating literature with art to create a tangible product depicting story's lesson

Friedman, Aileen (1994). A Cloak For The Dreamer. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Lesson Summary: The book tells the story of a tailor who is asked to make three cloaks for the Archduke and dresses for his wife. The tailor can make the dresses, but, in the interest of time, he requests that his three sons assist him by designing and sewing the three cloaks. Two of the sons do a fantastic job to his pleasure on their cloaks, but the youngest son has trouble because he tries to make his cloak out of circular pieces of material. His coat is beautiful in color, but the cloak is useless as it is full of gaps and open spaces. His brothers and father try to find a way to help him. The book is a picture storybook not necessarily written as a math lesson. However, the content lends itself well to a variety of geometry exercises of varying difficulties and manipulatives . This particular lesson plan focuses on simple geometric exercises that utilize the book to seek to address current standards.

Objective: Students will complete an art project which will demonstrate an understanding of how the differences between the attributes of squares, circles, and triangles can be fitted together to form other shapes.

Standards: Geometry: IIIC2; IVB2

Materials: A Cloak For the Dreamer, by Aileen Friedman
A handmade quilt sewn with square or combination of shapes to form
pieced blocks
Overhead projector
Overhead transparencies
Brown paper bags
Pre-cut squares, circles and triangles from construction paper
A handout square 4 cm x 4 cm piece of white paper
Small freezer bags

1. The teacher will read the book A Cloak for the Dreamer.
2. The teacher will utilize the overhead projector to further illustrate the different methods of cloak-making chosen by the three sons of the tailor. Students should be shown that all figures, such as circles, cannot be sewn together to produce a cloak without gaps and spaces between the circles.
3. The students should then be instructed to use distributed pre-cut squares to blue to the boxes in the handout in three rows of three being careful not to leave spaces between their geometric figures. The students may also choose triangles to form squares of varying colors.
4. The students will color designed squares.
5. The students will cut out and glue their finished handout to the back of the paper bag as a "cloak".
6. The students will turn the bag and draw the face on the folded bottom of the paper bag to represent the "dreamer" cloak.
7. The activity should be conducted as an individual art project.
8. The teacher should present the homemade quilt to the students to view as a closures to the lesson.