I have to say, I did not do this. I was brought in because the program was in jeopardy due to the lack of a quilter for the 3rd grade quilts. Fortunately, or unfortunately, they asked me to step in - and it just so happens I used to teach. So - I cannot ignore the needs of our precious elementary school teachers. My two sons and I were so lucky to have the teachers they had in Poway Unified School District! I swear it was almost like having the boys in a private school. They both thrived in this district and I appreciated all the teachers did for classes. Elementary school teachers put soooo much into their classes! Unless you are a teacher, you just don't know all they do.
So, when someone asked me to help a local 3rd grade to complete quilts that had already been completed - what can I say? I'm a sucker for those elementary teachers!
I am going to have to discuss using quilting in the 3rd grade in several blogs. Be patient! I have to find out what these teachers have been doing and what would they do differently? If I can come up with some succinct and useable lesson plans for this school (and perhaps your schools) - can you imagine integrating quilting into the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade curriculum?
My objective is NOT TO TEACH elementary school kids to become quilters and/or seamstresses. Not at all. I believe in teaching across the curriculum and INTRODUCING quilting to elementary school children in a gentle, fun, enjoyable, and non-threatening manner. Proceeding in this manner, these wonderful children will REMEMBER later in life they read a book, made a quilt in 3rd grade. This will build knowledge that will later turn into the people who make sure quilting does not disappear from the American craft scene forever. These kids are OUR FUTURE in quilting. No, they will not all grow up and all become quilters. But they will all REMEMBER quilting.
This is our challenge. This is our obligation to future generations, to share the LOVE of quilting and American History with our progeny to ensure it remains intact for future generations. I honestly believe that introducing quilting into our elementary schools will not only allow teaching across the curriculum in a fun manner - but - introduce quilting to students as a pure American art form to be treasured and protected. Thus ensuring this art form stays around for generations.
I will stop for now and get back as soon as I have something more to add to this.
PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS.
ADDING QUILTING TO THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM is going to be easy on one hand, but very volunteer (work) intense. It is not going to be easy, but introducting quilting to our children will preserve our pure American art form.
I encourage each of you to try and follow this blog and think a out how you might be able to integrate quilting into the core curriculum.
This is totally self-serving, inasmuch as we as quilters will WORK to integrate quilting into the curriculum. This is not easy. We all know the cutting, measuring, sewing, ripping, sewing, blah blah bla that goes into a quilt, even a little quilt. A lot of work.
Read on or wait for the next blog if you think you are up to this challenge.
Remember - I didn't start this program. I fell into it and it dumbfounded me there were teachers who had no quilting skills trying to integrate it into their core requirements. Good for them! It should certainly encourage other teachers to try the same.
Are we as quilters up to people like that?
We are there!
I am going to start a page about using quilts, quilting and literature to teach elementary kids about quilting. The most important objective I wish to accomplish is to introduce this rich, uniquely American craft to young children as just that, an American craft.
Introducing children to quilting is not intended to create "seamstresses" out of any of the students, but to educate them relative to the diverse lessons quilting contains:
- Critical thinking
- History and traditions
I will try to post some lesson plans as I develop them in order to share the integration of quilting into any curriculum. I sincerely hope other teachers may read this blog and would like to start such an educational thread in their elementary school.
My thanks to my friends in quilting and the 3rd Grade teachers at Tuscany Hills Elementary School who have embraced this project for several years before I ever heard of it, and to those brave teachers who are allowing me to 'mess around' with it!