Culture quilts are a fun and effective way to promote cultural awareness among your students and teach them about the importance of diversity. These activities not only showcase the unique backgrounds and traditions of your kiddos but also build a sense of community in your classroom. Have a look at our list of 17 unique and engaging culture quilt activities to promote critical thinking and facilitate important conversations in your classroom!
1. The Keeping Quilt
Explore the lessons of The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco with your students. This fantastic book will teach them about the importance of cultural traditions and family heirlooms that are passed down for generations. After finishing the book, have them design their own culture quilts focused on their own family’s traditions.
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2. Quilt of Belonging
Help your class to create a shared culture quilt, highlighting the concepts of diversity and belonging. Each of your kiddos will make their own square to be combined into a “quilt” representative of your whole class. This is a perfect activity to have them appreciate the unique make-up of their class while creating a beautiful and meaningful piece of art.
Learn More: Quilt of Belonging
3. Class Culture Quilt
Some construction paper and drawing materials are all you need to weave a tapestry of camaraderie! During this fun activity, your class will create a word web around quilting and cultural themes. This group task will expand their understanding of culture as well as expand their vocabulary on this topic.
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4. Heritage Quilt
Give your students the opportunity to showcase their families’ cultural roots with this heritage quilt activity! Have them use paper squares to create a visual biography of their ancestors’ cultural traditions, sharing important aspects of their identities with their classmates.
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5. Collaborative Quilt
Creating a collaborative quilt will weave your classroom community together. This activity promotes critical thinking as your kids learn about the lasting impact of slavery, the quilts of Gee’s Bend, and the Freedom Quilting Bee.
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6. Diversity Quilt
This fun activity lets your kiddies stitch together a colorful tapestry that showcases the diversity of your classroom community. Have them interview one another about their cultures as they work on their unique quilt squares.
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7. Family Quilt
Have your kiddos put together memories and stories from each member of their family to celebrate their unique family units. They can interview family members about their unique traditions then share these stories in the classroom and discuss what family means to them.
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8. Family Memory Quilt
This quilt activity is a great opportunity for your students to share their family histories with their classmates. This fun activity will see each child create a quilt with squares representing different family members and the memories they have together. It’s a sweet way to celebrate their family unit and makes for a super gift!
Learn More: Quilting with Language
9. Quilting the Past and Present
For this activity, your kiddos will interview elders in their family or community to get a unique perspective on life from another generation. Then have them create paper patches that represent the past and present and use them to create paper quilts! This activity will help your class to reflect on and appreciate their culture and elders.
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10. Peace and Harmony Quilt
A “Peace and Harmony Quilt” is the perfect way to represent the unity of your classroom or school community. The finished product could be used in the next school year’s inaugural display as a symbol of peace and understanding among all the school’s students and teachers regardless of their backgrounds.
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11. Quilt Around the World
Have each of your learners pick one country and research its culture. Using what they have learned, they’ll then cut out different shapes from various fabrics to represent this country’s culture and stitch them together to make a unique quilt!
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12. Personal Culture Quilt
Weave together an exciting classroom experience with this simple introductory culture quilt activity. First, have your kiddies fill out the printable template that features different quilt squares signifying different aspects of their lives. You can then facilitate a whole class discussion on the similarities and differences between each of your kids’ work before pinning the squares together!
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13. Flag Quilt Block
Teach your class about American history with this flag quilt activity. Using a printable template, they’ll create a patchwork version of the beloved Star Spangled Banner! This creative activity is a perfect art project for your social studies class.
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14. Quilting, Art, and Connection to Place
Explore the rich social history of quilt-making with this amazing activity. Watch a short film about quilters in Gee’s Bend and then lead your learners in a discussion on the civil rights movement in that region. You can then examine how quilts can reflect traditions and cultural stories, reinforcing bonds between generations.
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15. Read Aloud the Story “The Arabic Quilt”
Read The Arabic Quilt with your pupils, then encourage them to discuss the cultural themes in the plot and how they relate to their own identities. It’s the perfect introduction to then have them create a quilt that reflects important aspects of their own cultures and personal experiences.
Learn More: Read Aloud The Arabic Quilt
16. Visit a Local Quilt Shop
If you can, then why not take your students on a fun field trip to a nearby quilt shop? They can explore the fabrics and patterns that are used in quilting and learn more about the work that goes into creating a quilt If a field trip isn’t an option, then take a virtual tour in this YouTube video instead!
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17. Host an Elementary Art Lesson on the History of Weaving
Travel back in time and explore this traditional method of quilt-making! Introduce your kiddos to the history of weaving by exploring traditional techniques, materials, and patterns used in ancient cultures. They’ll love this chance to look into the past!
Learn More: History of Weaving: Lesson for Kids