Lesson 2: Symbol Quilt
Students will learn about quilt construction and use crayon shavings in waxed paper to create colorful quilt squares.
Crayons; construction paper; rulers; waxed paper; handheld pencil sharpeners; scissors; iron; old T-shirt; presentation board, bulletin board, or butcher paper
SET UP AND PREPARE
- 1. 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 from the conversation on the board. Suggested words are peace, unity, equality, and rights.
- 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 positive values in their school by making a quilt art project together.
- Show students different images of quilts, specifically quilts with an obvious grid pattern. Ask them how they think those quilts are made. Explain that students will make quilt squares with construction paper, waxed paper, and crayon shavings. Cut rectangular shapes of waxed paper so that, when folded in half, the paper makes a perfect square. The folded squares will be the size of the quilt square. (Note that the size of the quilt squares depend on the number of students in your class and the size of the surface you would like to assemble 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.)
- Pass out sheets of construction paper. Instruct students to use rulers to draw squares of a specified dimension. Note: The size of these squares should be smaller than the quilt squares.
- Tell students they will draw a symbol or select a word that exemplifies Martin Luther King, Jr. to them. Explain that the symbol should not be too complex, as they will need to cut it out. Circulate around the room while they are brainstorming their symbols to provide support as needed. Note: They may also choose to make a few smaller symbols.
- Pass out waxed paper and crayons. Have students place their symbols inside the folded waxed paper. Instruct students to use handheld pencil sharpeners to create crayon shavings that they will scatter inside the waxed paper, both on top of and around their symbols. Explain that they may choose to use only two or three colors to make the shavings or they may use a wide range of colors. Note: Remove the paper from the crayon before using the sharpener to make shavings.
- Once the symbols are placed in the waxed paper and scattered with crayon shavings, close the folded waxed paper. Place an old T-shirt over the waxed paper and iron until the crayon shavings are melted. Allow the art to cool off.
- 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 add a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the center of the quilt and title it "In Celebration of Peace and Unity." You can place the title page in the center of your presentation and organize the quilt squares around it. You may also choose to create a border around the quilt squares or around the whole presentation with construction paper.