Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Color Block Quilts Grade 4

This lesson is one that I developed by borrowing ideas from lots of different sources. It is a great lesson because it teaches students about color-mixing (especially mixing neutrals), allows them to work both individually and within a group, introduces some stitching techniques, employs watercolor-resist and deals with complex cutting. This lesson can also be broken apart and used as just an exercise.

To begin students are given a 6" square of watercolor paper and a 1" measuring tool to make the grid lines in white crayon. The white crayon is difficult to see on the white paper, but it does have a different texture so it is possible. Another color could be substituted, but I like the way the white looks in the finished product.

Before distributing the paint, brown and black are removed so that the students have to mix their own chromatic neutrals. Each square in the grid must be a different mixed color -- no straight from the pan colors are allowed. Each student has a personal goal of achieving 36 different mixed colors. Within the table groups (4 students each), the team goal is the most mixed colors in comparison to the other table groups. Each member of the winning team is promised a small prize. The color-mixing takes up an entire class time and then the teacher counts all the colors. The teacher is the final judge on how many colors were achieved.

At the next class, a small hole punch is used to make holes around the border of the color-mixed blocks. Then thin yarn and plastic needles are used to stitch around the edges. Finally snowflakes are cut out by folding copier paper squares and cutting out the shapes. Once students have achieved a successful paper snowflake, that snowflake is used as the tracer for making the felt one that will be used in the finished project. Felt snowflakes are coated in Elmer's glue and glittered before they are mounted over the painted squares.

My vision for the finished display would be to arrange all the blocks together to form a large quilt.

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