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Day 5: Tracking the Quilting Codes – Continued


Social Studies  




Title – All Aboard! Exploring the Secrets of the Underground Railroad – An Interdisciplinary Unit

Day 5 Lesson: Tracking the Quilting Codes – Continued

Note, this is one part of a larger unit which can be found here .

By – Elizabeth Hodgson and Rachel Vogelpohl
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects –
Grade Level – 4


Social Studies
2.04 – Describe how different ethnic groups have influenced culture, customs and history of North Carolina.
3.02 – Identify people, symbols, events, and documents associated with North Carolina’s history.
5.02 – Describe traditional art, music, and craft forms in North Carolina.

English Language Arts
4.02 – Use oral and written language to: present information and ideas in a clear, concise manner, discuss, interview, solve problems, make decisions.
4.03 – Make oral and written presentations using visual aids with an awareness of purpose and audience.
4.07 – Compose fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected and assigned topics and forms (e.g., personal and imaginative narratives, research reports, diaries, journals, logs, rules, instructions).

2.01 – Use technology tools used to collect, analyze, and display data.
2.10 – Use search strategies to locate information electronically.
3.04 – Create a multimedia project and cite sources of copyrighted material.

Visual Arts
1.04 – Use complex symbols to fully explore ideas.
5.01 – Recognize that art can serve more than one purpose and/or function in a given culture.
6.01 – Describe how people’s experiences influence the development of specific artworks.

2.04 – Improvise, create, and perform dances based on own ideas and concepts from other sources.
7.02 – Create a dance sequence that demonstrates understanding of a concept or idea from another content area.


  • Computer with internet access
  • KidPix software
  • Traditional art supplies: construction paper, crepe paper, glue, markers, paint, glitter, crayons, clay, scissors, colored pencils, etc.
  • Video camera and/or digital camera
  • Writing paper/journals


    Continuation of Quilt Creation
    Each group will continue to create a quilt to present their coded messages. Students may choose to create their quilts with KIDPIX software, traditional art supplies, or through charade performances (if first discussed with the teacher).

    Presentation of Quilts to Class
    Quilts will be hung on walls or videotaped/digital photographed, if performed. Each group will have a few minutes to present and explain the codes hidden in their quilts and how North Carolina’s conductors and runaway slaves would utilize them.

    Journal Entry to Explain Hidden Codes
    Each group will write a journal entry to explain the codes they designed and the messages the codes convey. The students should reflect on the process taken to brainstorm and create their quilts. Students can either create their journals using Microsoft Word on the classroom computers or handwrite them in their journal books.

    Multiple Intelligences:

    Verbal/Linguistic: (presentation and discussion of quilts)
    Visual/Spatial: (creation of quilt)
    Intrapersonal: (creating one’s own quilt)
    Interpersonal: (group journal writing experience, presentation of dramatic activity, if chose this option)
    Kinesthetic: (dance, if chose this option)
    Note: Activity also appeals to auditory (listening to presentations), visual (creation of quilt patterns, viewing of others’ presentations), and tactual (creation of one’s own quilt) learners.


    Three separate assessments:
    1. Assessment of students’ quilt projects, using the project rubric .
    2. Assessment of students’ presentations, using the presentation rubric .
    3. Informal assessment of groups’ journal entries. Could also use the cooperative group work rubric at this time.

    E-Mail Elizabeth Hodgson and Rachel Vogelpohl ! Assessment:

    Assessment of students’ diary entry, using the diary writing rubric .
    Effective assessment of students’ reflections on the unit content, the teaching strategies employed, and their general interest levels will also be completed at this point.

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