Monday was a holiday here ( AKA no school!!!) to recognize Martin Luther King's Birthday. This is always kind of the kick-off to teaching African American History (February is Black History Month) in school. As you know by now, I love to sneak quilts/quilting into my second grade classroom every chance I get. I have developed curriculum on the Underground Railroad and the Freedom Quilts used to help slaves escape and reach freedom. I love teaching this subject and it sparks the interest of everyone in the building, students and staff members alike.
My second graders all love quilts. They can relate what we learn about quilts and quilting to their own lives because they all know what a quilt is and how warm and comfortable they make them feel. Some of my boys and girls are even lucky enough to know someone who has made a quilt. By this time of the year they have learned what quilts are and how/why they are different from other types of blankets. They have examined the three layers of a "quilt sandwich" and know why people first made quilts They have learned about basting, quilting (or tying), what a binding is and why it is part of a quilt. They know the difference between pins and needles. We have read several quilt related stories and made a few quilty projects. They know what Hawaiian Quilting, patchwork and applique are!!!
If you came to visit my classroom in March my students would be able to tell you the significance of quilt blocks such as Flying Geese, Log Cabin, Wagon Wheel, Bow Ties, Shoo Fly and others and the messages they gave to slaves on the run. They would be able to re-tell stories about how some quilts were able to help slaves find safe refuge on the road to freedom and they would be able to share their finished projects with you. Since you will not all be able to visit my classroom, over the next few weeks I will share some of these things with you here.
Teaching children and quilting.........I love my job!!!