fractions in quilting

Several factors led to the making of this lesson.  1) Friday was Community Reading Day, 2) It was the end of a very long testing week (we NEEDED a fun project) and 3) my IA is getting her certification and needed practice creating and teaching lessons.  Therefore, my IA, Mrs. M, planned this great lesson that integrates quilting and the math behind it.  

First, while the kids were at Library, we draped the room in quilts that Mrs. M's mom made.  

These quilts are amazing, and the kids were so excited to see them.  They got a chance to look at each one, and Mrs. M taught them the history behind quilting in America.  She also discussed the different patterns, color choices, and materials that are used.  Then we went to the library where our community member read A Cloak for the Dreamer to celebrate Community Reading Day.  

This book lead to a discussion about which shapes can be used to make quilts and which ones cannot.  (BTW, this book is great for a lesson on tesselations!)  Then Mrs. M introduced the activity: each student was given a tangram template, scrapbook paper, scissors, and glue and told to create an original quilt square.  They were allowed to alter their tangram shapes as long as they kept to the shape of the square.   

It was interesting to watch how the kids problem solved throughout the activity.  This one planned hers out first and even used numbers to label the different patterns.  That's my girl!

The kids took time to check out each other's squares to get ideas, but each one ended up completely original.

After the kids finished their quilt squares, they needed to figure out what fraction of the square each shape represented.  This ended up being a real challenge: they needed to combine their skills of adding, multiplying, and dividing fractions.  It was refreshing to see them rise to the occasion (and without any complaints I might add).

When everyone completed their project, we put them all together to make our class quilt.

So amazing!  Thanks Mrs. M for putting together a great lesson!


  1. Love it! Did a very basic version of this same lesson when I was in 2nd grade.

  2. Love it! Send me templates please!!