Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stitching together the story of America

CEDAR CITY - The fifth-grade students at Fiddlers Canyon Elementary School showed off their knowledge of American history Wednesday, showcasing their quilt-making projects.

Out of the three fifth-grade classes, 66 quilts were completed, said Janette Stubbs, one of the fifth-grade teachers in charge of the "American history enrichment project."

After completing each of the six units for the history part of class throughout the school year, the students were able to choose their own fabric and design six individual quilt squares based on important events in American history, including slavery, the Civil War and the American Revolution, Stubbs said.

Fifth-grade student Jaycee Slack said she enjoyed making the quilts and learning about history for the project.

"It was fun, but it took a while," she said. "I liked learning about how many people fought during the Civil War."

Stubbs said organizing the project was a combined effort between her and the two other fifth-grade teachers: Susan Griffiths and Paulette Wiseman.

The teachers decided to have the students make American history lap quilts for their project because one lesson students learned during the unit on slavery is how the slaves made their own "freedom quilts," Griffiths said.

"We wanted them to be a part of the history of quilt making," she said.

Each student tied his and her own quilt but had help from some of the parents in sewing the squares together, Stubbs said.

Collette Barclay, a fifth-grade student, said she enjoys history and liked learning about each of the different historical events by making her own designs for the quilt.

"I just drew about the different events and used what looked good," she said.

Fifth-grader Anna Wasden said she was interested in many of the historical events and enjoyed learning about them through making quilts because she enjoys sewing.

"I liked learning about the Lewis and Clark Expedition," she said.

Students were not only able to learn about history through the project, it was also a good learning experience for the students to design their own quilts, Stubbs said.

"Their personalities definitely come out in this project," she said. "It is easy for me to look at each quilt and know who made it because it reflects their personalities."

Because the project went well for its first year, the teachers said they plan to continue having students participate in future years.

"The biggest thing is that this is a memory they can hold onto from their fifth-grade year," Stubbs said. "They can look back and reflect on the concepts they learned."

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