Social Studies Literature Unit

The Patchwork Quilt and Something From Nothing


Book Titles:

The Patchwork Quilt by: Valerie Flournoy Scholastic Printing, September 1996

Something From Nothing By: Phoebe Gilman
Scholastic Inc. 1992

Curriculum Developer: Stacee Phillips

Summary:

The Patchwork Quilt
This picture book is about the relationship between Tanya and her grandmother. Tanya's grandmother begins making a special quilt from pieces of worn out clothes that have belonged to various family members. Tanya's mother and grandmother spend many evenings working on the quilt. Tanya's grandmother becomes ill, too ill for even Tanya to see her. Tanya worked on the quilt with her mother while her grandmother lay in bed ill. After a couple of months Tanya's grandmother got better and was able to help complete the quilt that she then gave to Tanya as a gift.

Something From Nothing
This is a Jewish folk tale about a boy named Joseph and his grandfather. Joseph's grandfather made him a blanket when he was a little boy. As Joseph grows the blanket becomes worn. Joseph's mother tells him to throw it out. The grandfather transforms the blanket into a jacket, a vest, a Sabbath tie, a handkerchief, and finally a button. Joseph loses the button and becomes sad because his grandfather can't make something from nothing. Joseph writes a story at the end to remember his grandfather and the blanket.

Social Studies Relevance:
These two books could both be used to further students knowledge by learning about the families in which they belong, families other than theirs, and individual family traditions. They would also learn about the role that grandparents play in a family.

Grade Level Focus:
I am developing a mini unit which would be used to teach kindergarten students.

Relationship to Social Studies State Core:
The objectives that I would focus on, from the Utah State Core, are as follows:
6000-0101
Participate in group discussions
6000-0104
Follow simple directions
6000-0201
Identify different kinds of groups (family, school, neighborhood) to which they belong.
6000-0202
Discuss ways that people are alike and ways they are unique, and that each individual has self-worth.
6000-0203
Identify values, traditions, and customs that are learned in families.


 
Lesson #1

Families

Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Time: 45 min.

Objectives
:

* After reading to pg. 26 of the story, Something From Nothing, and discussing what predicting means, students will predict how Joseph might remember what his grandfather made him, now that the button is gone.

* Given a group discussion about the book, students will be able to state one similarity and one difference between their own family and the one portrayed in the book.

Materials Needed:

Book - Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman
Paper
Pencils
Crayons

Procedures:

1. The teacher will read the book and stop on pg.26 after the phrase saying, "The button is gone, finished, kaput. Even your grandfather can't make something from nothing."

2. The teacher will discuss with the students what predicting means. The teacher will make sure that the students understand that it means to use the previous information in the story or other previous knowledge to guess or decide what might happen next.

3. The teacher will then ask the students to predict how Joseph might remember everything his grandfather has made him now that the button is gone.

4. The teacher will give the students paper and pencil or crayons and have the students either write with pictures or words what they think Joseph will do.

5. Once the students have completed their pictures, they will come back and discuss the various predictions each student has made.

6. The teacher will then finish reading the story. The students will see that Joseph wrote a story to remember the blanket his grandfather had made him. This will lead into a discussion on families.

7. The teacher will discuss how families have similarities and differences. The teacher will go back through the book with the students discussing similarities and differences between their family and Joseph's. Examples might include: food, clothing, shelter, grandparents living in the same house as Joseph, grandfather sewing something for Joseph, etc.. The similarities and differences will be different in every class, depending on the students in the class.

8. At the close of the discussion the teacher will ask the students to turn to a neighbor and tell them one similarity and one difference between their family and the one in the book.


Evaluation
:

* The teacher will be able to tell whether the students understand prediction by looking at the pictures they have created.

* The teacher will listen to and observe the students as they tell a neighbor about the similarities and differences between their family and Joseph's. This will show the teacher they understand similarities and differences between families.


Lesson # 2

The Family Crest

Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

* Students will state one similarity and one difference between the family in The Patchwork Quilt by: Valerie Flournoy and the family in Something From Nothing by: Phoebe Gilman.

* After discussing similarities and differences between the families in the books and then comparing those two families to the students' families, students will each create a family crest that uniquely represents their family.

Materials:

Book-- The Patchwork Quilt by: Valerie Flourney
Book -- Something From Nothing by: Phoebe Gilman
Crest Symbol sheet
Crayons
Markers

Procedures:

1. The teacher will quickly review with the students what they discussed the day before with the story, Something From Nothing. The teacher will then tell the students that he/she has another story about a family. The teacher then reads, The Patchwork Quilt.

2. The teacher then discusses with the students the similarities and differences between the two families in the stories the teacher has read in class. The teacher once again has the students turn to a partner and tell their partner one way the two families in the books are similar and one way the families are different.

3. Once the teacher feels the students has a strong understanding of how families are similar and different, he/she tells the students they are going to make a family crest.

4. The teacher tells the students that a crest contains pictures that tell about their family. The teacher will explain to the students that a crest usually contains the families last name. The crest can also include things the family likes to do, special holiday's celebrated by the family, along with many other things. The teacher shows the students a crest she/he has made of their family, explaining what each picture represents.
5. The students are then given the crest symbol and complete it so that it is representative of their family.

6. After students have completed their family crest, they will share it with the class and explain the meaning behind each picture on it.

Evaluation:

* The teacher will listen and observe the students as they tell a partner one similarity and one difference between the families in each of the books.

* The teacher will determine whether students understand the uniqueness of their family as they create and share their family crest with the class.


Lesson # 3

A Classroom Museum

Subject Area: Social Studies
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Time: 1 hour

Objectives:

* Students will demonstrate their understanding of their own families uniqueness by sharing items with one another to create a class museum.

Materials:

The teacher needs to bring an example of an item, from her family, to put in the museum.

Procedures:

1. The teacher will review family similarities and differences with the class, referring back to the books and the family crests that were made.

2. The teacher will then tell the students they are going to make a classroom museum. The museum will contain objects, stories, pictures, or other information about families. The students may share two things.
3. The teacher will then share with the students something she would like to add to the museum. ( I personally would share a story that my great grandmother always used to tell and a bell that also belonged to one of my great grandma's.)

4. The teacher needs to explain to the students that it doesn't have to be an object. It can be a story that is written down that they want to share. It could be a picture that they have drawn that reminds them of someone in their family, etc.. The teacher also needs to tell the students if they have something valuable then take a picture of it to bring in instead of the actual item. (See Appendix)

5. Once the students have brought in their items they will share them with the class and put them on display to create a class family museum.

Evaluation:

* The teacher will see that the children understand the uniqueness of families as they share and discuss the special items they have brought in to create a class museum.


Lesson # 4

Grandparents

Subject Area: Social Studies
Grade Level:
Kindergarten
Time: 1 hour

Objectives:

* Students will be able to write a thank you note telling the grandparents, who shared with the students various customs and traditions, one thing they learned.

Materials:

Letter to Parent (same one used in lesson #3)
Whatever materials the grandparents might need

Procedures:

1. The teacher, referring back to the two books previously read, will discuss the many things that grandparents do. In both stories the grandparents sewed something for their grandchild.

2. The teacher will then tell the students that she has invited some grandparents to come to the class and share a talent or hobby. (The teacher needs to arrange this at least a week in advance. The teacher needs to send home a letter asking for volunteers to come and share a hobby or talent with the class. This might include sharing how to make or do something, a trip they have taken, or even telling stories. If the teacher does not get enough volunteers, she/he will need to arrange for other grandparents to come. (An example letter is in the appendix.)

3. The students will then divide into groups and rotate around the room, hearing each of the grandparents and/or participating in what they have to share.

4. After the grandparents have left, the students need to write a thank you letter to the grandparents telling them one thing they learned. The students will draw pictures and the teacher will write down dictation if the students can't write yet. (This may be done the same day or the day after.)

Evaluation:

* The teacher will be able to tell what the students learned from the grandparents by looking and reading their thank you cards.

RETURN TO LITERATURE INDEX


Appendix

Parent Letter

Sept. 25, 1998

Dear Parents,

Your child will be learning about families over the next couple of weeks in school. We have many fun activities planned that will be teaching your child the similarities and differences between families. I need your help for two of the activities we will be doing.

We will be creating a class museum. Your child needs to bring in one or two items that tell about their family. This could include stories, pictures, significant items that have been past down from grandparents, and anything else that helps your child share about his/her family with the class. I ask that if a child wants to share an antique item or a valuable item, that you take a picture of it and send that in instead of the actual item. You may begin sending these items in at anytime. We will be sharing these items and creating our class museum on Oct. 3, 1998.

We will be reading Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman and The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy. In both of these stories a grandparent makes something special for their grandchild. I need some grandparent volunteers to come and share a hobby, a talent, customs, or traditions with the class. It could be demonstrating how to make something, sharing a story, sharing about a vacation or trip you have taken, or anything that would be appropriate to share with our kindergarten class. I will need the volunteers on Oct. 10. Anyone who is interested and would like to come and share can contact me for further details by Oct. 2.

I am looking forward to this unit and feel that your child is going to better understand his/her family.

Mrs. Phillips