Three 45-minute class periods
Recycling was very important to the first settlers in early America. Because
fabric and supplies were scarce, every bit of cloth was salvaged. Scraps
of fabric from worn out or outgrown clothing were saved and used to make
patchwork quilts. These scraps or shapes of fabric were arranged in patterns
to create borders and designs throughout the quilt. History can be told
through quilts as they are passed down through generations within families,
keeping cultural traditions present.
In this lesson, students will become familiar with the achievements of
the artist Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist from New York who
uses quilts as her painting canvas. Students will take notice of the patterns
in their environment. Students will connect the mathematical concept of
patterns to create a class quilt. Students will examine video clips and
Web sites that show the creative process in creating a quilt and the importance
of the use of patterns in this process.
Students will be able to:
- Identify patterns in the environment
- Create an original pattern using geometric shapes
- Choose a theme or story to create a class quilt
- Explain the aesthetic qualities of Faith Ringgold's paintings
United States Math
Standards for grades 3-5
Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve
States Art Standards for grades K-4
Content Standard #4
Know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships
to various cultures.
Content Standard #5
Understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.
York State Learning Standards for Mathematics and Art
Discover patterns in nature, art, music, and literature.
Actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance
in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in
various roles in the arts.
Make use of the materials and resources available for participation in
the arts in various roles.
Respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual
work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.
Develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape
artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures
of past and present society.
Cyberchase #107: Poddleville Case
African-American Artists #8: Faith Ringgold Paints Crown Heights
African-American Artists #12: Faith Ringgold and the Last Story Quilt
This Web site offers activities for all Cyberchase episodes, including
problem-solving games in subjects such as fractions, tangrams, symmetry,
and patterns. This site also offers "free stuff" for your computer,
e-cards that can be sent to other computers, and a weekly poll where students
can submit their opinions on various topics. Each episode is reviewed
and reinforced daily.
This Web site contains a variety of information on the artist. It has
a personal approach, making the viewer feel as though they are contacting
Faith Ringgold directly. This site includes the artist's biography, an
interactive song with words and music, and works in progress. You can
take her "Faith Test," a conceptual study of race and color
in America. There is also a gallery of her artwork.
- Quilt Design Sheet
- Crayons or markers
- Unlined white paper