Lesson 1: Crayon-Resist Quilt
Students will learn about quilt construction and use a crayon-resist technique to create colorful quilt squares.
Crayons (including some that are white in color); watercolor paper; watercolors; scissors; construction paper (optional); presentation board, bulletin board, or butcher paper
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Read a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. with your class. Have a class discussion about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s beliefs. Ask students to discuss what they know about what Martin Luther King, Jr. believed. Write some of the descriptive words that students use in the discussion on the board. Suggested words are peace, unity, togetherness, and fairness.
- Explain that Martin Luther King, Jr. met his goals by bringing people of different backgrounds together to work for a common cause. Tell students that they will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. and demonstrate the unity of their class by making a quilt art project together.
- Show students different images of quilts, specifically quilts with an obvious grid pattern. Explain that quilts are made of many squares sewn together. Tell students that they will make quilt squares with crayon and watercolors.
- Pass out two sheets of watercolor paper with a square guide drawn in the middle to each child. (Note that the quilting square size depends on the number of students in your class and the size of the surface you would like to make the quilt on. Possible surfaces are a presentation board, a bulletin board, or a long sheet of butcher paper to display across the top wall of your classroom or the lower wall of a hallway.)
- On the first sheet, students will trace their hands inside the squares. They will use a crayon to create a pattern inside the outline of their hand. Make sure they use a white crayon, along with other colors, to make their designs. Instruct them to leave some parts of their pattern blank. They will not color in the entire hand.
- Pass out watercolors and have students paint over the hand with them. Set aside to dry. Have students use the crayons to create patterns inside the square guide on the second sheet of paper. When those patterns are complete, instruct them to paint the squares with watercolors.
- When both sheets have had sufficient time to dry, instruct students to cut out the hand from one sheet and the square from the other. Guide them to glue the hand to the center of the quilt square. Optional: Place the completed quilt squares on construction paper and cut out the construction paper approximately half an inch from the edge of the squares to create a colorful border.
- To create the quilt display, arrange the quilt squares in a grid pattern on a presentation board, bulletin board, or butcher paper. You may choose to affix a large piece of construction paper to the center of the quilt with a title. Suggested titles are "Our Quilt of Peace" or "Many Hands, One Community." Also, you may choose to add a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the center of the quilt and title it "In Celebration of Peace and Unity." You may also choose to create a border around the whole presentation with construction paper.