Kelly Sumner Story Quilt Lesson Plan-Introduction

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Kelly Sumner

Story Quilt Lesson Plan—Introduction

Essential Question:
Enduring Understandings:
Materials Needed:

  • The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

  • Independent reading books (current or recently finished) for each student

  • Story Quilt planning sheet

  • Story Quilt rough draft sheet

  • Overhead transparency of Story Quilt planning sheet


  1. Background knowledge: Start with translations of the word “quilt” into native languages, and even show a real-life quilt to students if possible. Read aloud Patricia Polacco’s book “The Keeping Quilt” to the students (pausing to discuss and check comprehension as needed). Ask students to then list words or phrases to describe the quilt in the book as you record on the board or chart paper. Discuss the idea that a quilt can represent parts of a whole coming together, can be used for different things, is a representation of culture and family, can tell a story, etc.

  2. Tell students the class will be creating their own quilt—a Story Quilt. Pass out the story quilt planning sheet, but tell students they are not going to write on it yet.

  3. Using the transparency, work through the thinking/planning questions together as a class, using a recent shared text (a novel the class had just finished reading, for example). Guide the students through and encourage them to share ideas as you write.

  4. Once this is finished, show students a pre-made example (any book you have recently read will be fine) and briefly talk them through the parts of your quilt square.
  5. Students can now use a book they have recently finished or are close to finishing from Independent Reading to start their own Story Quilt Planning Sheet.

Differentiation ideas: If a student is a lower level student, give them more one-on-one assistance in completing the Planning sheet…consider talking through it with them instead of having them write ALL of the explanations (the assignment becomes more about the visuals and less about having to write out their ideas).

This past year, I had a student read a book in Spanish, so I was fine with her writing the Golden Line IN Spanish. She did complete the planning sheet in English, however.
Subsequent lesson plans will focus on helping the students through the planning process and then giving them time to work on completing the actual quilt square.

  1. Story Quilt Planning Sheets—go over these with the students individually as they complete the planning, and then the rough draft (points for completion)

  2. Story Quilt squares—use criteria list (Story Quilt Evaluation) to grade the final product

Final Product: Class Story Quilt is displayed in the classroom or school—students have a chance to look at others’ squares and perhaps make a new book choice based on what they see.

Idea for Story Quilt taken from Literature Circles Resource Center: and then adapted to fit my group of students. This website has alternate planning forms, evaluation rubrics, and photos of actual examples as well.

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