Posted Date: 03/31/2021
Mrs. Huntington's second-grade class combined math, history, literature and art to create a quilt project. The lesson was led by Roxane Walker, a Student Teacher at West Elk Elementary.
The project drew inspiration from the group reading of Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson. The novel tells the story of the writer's ancestor that was born as a slave in the South and created quilts that had hidden messages in the design. The quilts came to be known as Freedom Quilts, due to their part in the emancipation of slavery. Seven generations of Jacqueline's family learned how to sew and continue the tradition of quilt making.
"Our class learned that creating quilts requires not only creativity, but mathematics as well. We expanded our knowledge on geometric shapes, mastered how to make a quilt square and introduced students on how to graph their findings." Walker commented. "Some children chose to use traditional patterns, while others made up their own."
These Freedom Quilts were maps to help runaway slaves find their way to the North. Since most slaves were illiterate, creating quilts with secret artistic codes for the Underground Railroad was a more efficient way to communicate. Oftentimes, quilts were hung to guide the way and communicate safe houses for those traveling without attracting unwanted attention.