Utah Lesson Plans
Social Studies
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan
Lower Elementary
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    Education Standards

    1st Grade - Act. 09: Freedom Quilt

    1st Grade - Act. 09: Freedom Quilt


    After learning about a specific national symbol, each student will create one section of a classroom quilt that will be tied together.


    After learning about a specific national symbol, each student will create one section of a classroom quilt that will be tied together.


    • The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan
    • straws (one for each student)
    • 9x9" squares of blue construction paper (2 for each student)
    • flag cover and writing template (one for each student)
    • 3x3" squares of red and white construction paper (4 red and 5 white for each student)
    • paint
    • crayons
    • chalk
    • other items for decorating

    Additional Resources:


    The Pledge of Allegiance (Scholastic)
    Red, White, and Blue by Susan Canizares and Betsy Chessen
    America by W. Nikola-Lisa
    The Statue of Liberty by Lucille Recht Penner
    Yankee Doodle by Gary Chalk
    Five-Pointed Star in One Snip - from the Besty Ross Homepage


    Background for Teachers

    This activity is designed to be used after a series of lessons on state and national symbols. Students should be exposed to various patriotic symbols, and their meanings and significance prior to this lesson. Students could be exposed to state and national symbols and patriotic traditions during shared reading time, guided reading, and small group activities. Students could also be assigned a specific symbol and research it using a variety of resources such as the library, computer, teachers, parents, and interviews.

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    Intended Learning Outcomes
    2. Demonstrate social skills and ethical responsibilities.
    3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.

    Process Skills

    Instructional Procedures

    Invitation to Learn
    Show a quilt or a picture of a quilt. "What is a quilt? Why is it different or special from a plain piece of fabric?" Guide the discussion to include how a quilt is made up of many different pieces of material sewn together to make one big beautiful blanket. Explain that this is very much like America. America is made up of many wonderful people who work together to make this country great. Today we are going to make a quilt all about America and use the things we have already learned about. Each of you are going to make a part of the quilt and then we will tie it together. This will symbolize how we all
    need to work together to make our country the best place it can be.

    Instructional Procedures

    1. Read The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan. As you read, draw attention to the way people are showing respect for the flag. Explain that the flag is probably our most significant symbol of our country and definitely belongs on our Freedom Quilt.
    2. Have students color their flag cover appropriately and then complete the sentence "I can show respect to my country by __________." Have students cut out both flags and place them together with the flag cover on top. Staple or glue the left sides together. Then staple the straw on top of the left side so it appears to be the flagpole. Glue the completed flag on one of the blue 9x9" pieces of paper.
    3. Take a few minutes and review the national or state symbols or significant landmarks you covered in previous lessons. (These symbols or landmarks may include the bald eagle, Liberty Bell, Utah's State Flag, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the first flag of the United States, etc.)
    4. Give each student 5 white squares and 4 red squares. On one white square, have students write their name. On the remaining four white squares, have students choose four of their favorite national or state symbols and draw one symbol on each square. On the four red squares have students choose four words that
      describe America and write one word on each square (i.e. freedom, love, peace, choices, red, white, blue, Uncle Sam, etc.)
    5. Have students glue their red and white squares in an alternating pattern on the other blue 9x9" piece of blue construction paper. (See sample drawing.)
    6. Allow time for each student to show their pieces of the quilt to the class.
    7. Punch holes in the corners of the squares and tie the quilt together with yarn.



    Possible Extensions/Adaptations
    Quilts can be used to teach a variety of subjects, including math and literature. Quilts help teach patterns, measurement, calculations, and other math skills. Quilts can also be used to instruct students on different cultures and be used as an innovative way of telling a story.

    Family Connections
    Each student could focus on a specific state or national symbol and compile a poster about that item at home. Students could bring their posters to school and the class could spend a day having a "Freedom Fair."

    • Students who have origins or ties to another country could be assigned to find symbols or information about that country to share with the class.
    • Students could interview family members about their feelings of freedom.
    • Students could compile a book of their favorite national or state symbols and their significance or meaning.

    Assessment Plan

    As students complete this activity you will find many ways to assess them. They can be assessed by the things they write and draw, and by the ways they present and explain their quilt pieces to the class.