Last year, my daughter’s fifth grade reading class was assigned a historical fiction quilt project. Impressed with this assignment, I immediately started brainstorming how this project could be modified, specifically for younger readers. My daughters love to read. They often like to write stories and draw pictures. If you know kids like mine, this could be a great way to entertain them on a day when they claim there’s nothing to do.
- The Who Was series of books by various authors are geared toward readers ages 8 to 12 (grades 3 to 7). Who Was Anne Frank? and Who Was Walt Disney? are great examples. These books are around 100 pages long, so it may not take them too long to finish reading before they can get to work on the quilt.
- Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World is an adorable series geared toward readers ages 5 to 8 (grades K to 3). Like I am Amelia Earhart, these books are around 40 pages long. I think older kids would even enjoy Meltzer’s stories and the illustrations by Christopher Eliopoulos. I know I did!
- For readers ages 10 and older, I recommend A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. My daughters came across this book at the library, and all three of us loved the story. In November, our family spent a week in Nicaragua. Our team dug trenches for water in one community for people who once spent their days getting water to survive. We also helped with the construction of a school in another community. Because of these recent experiences, A Long Walk to Water struck a chord within us. Since the subjects of history and geography are covered in this book, readers can make text to world connections. The story also exposes them to the harsh realities of this world, which provides an opportunity to discuss different ways they can get involved and make this world a better place.
With help, a preschooler could work on this project to feature his or her favorite books. Preserving a preschooler’s work in a picture frame will be treasured for years to come.
- Have the child choose his or her favorite books.
- Using a Sharpie and a ruler, divide a 12″x12″ sheet of white cardstock into nine 4″x4″ squares or four 6″x6″ squares.
- Read one of the books together.
- An adult records the title of the book and what the child reports as his or her favorite part of the story.
- The child draws or colors on the square on his or her own, or an adult can draw a picture for the child to color.
- Over time, the squares will be completed.
- Display this art in a 12″x12″ frame.
While this began as a language arts project in a traditional classroom, I have shared ways to modify the project for kids who love to read and kids who may need a little encouragement to read more frequently. If you try this project with the children in your life, I would love to see the finished quilts!