This week, the students continued to study secret messages that the slaves used in the mid 1800s to help them escape to freedom in Canada and some northern states in the U.S. We read edited versions of The Patchwork Path and Clara and the Freedom quilt and saw how the quilt squares had secret messages that would help the slaves escape. After reviewing symbols hidden in songs and the quilts, the students designed their own quilt squares.
The students explained in their quilt squares how the slaves needed to go North, follow the Drinking Gourd (Big Dipper), wade in the water so it would wash away their scent and even follow bear tracks to find clean water. One student wrote how the road to freedom would be dangerous. She remarked how the escaping slaves had so much personal power and strength.
To incorporate this theme in Mathematics, the students made symbols such as Peg-Leg Joe, quails (the first sign of Spring and when the slaves should leave) and a boat with the pattern blocks. They also made quilt squares using the pattern blocks. As the dominoes looked like stars in the sky, the students also used them for an adding game.
To conclude this weekly unit, we read the book The Kindness Quilt in class. We talked about how the slaves helped each other by putting secret messages in a quilt. In the Kindness Quilt the characters help each other and record their acts of kindness into a quilt.
Weekly Happy Monday Messages: