ALEX Lesson Plan


Can you make me a quilt: Generational Gaps

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Deborah Milan
System: Bullock County
School: Bullock County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33192


Can you make me a quilt: Generational Gaps


Skilled Black slave women on plantations and in other wealthy households also did the spinning, weaving, sewing and quilting in addition to many household duties. Their surviving quilts provide a unique history of their lives and culture. For a long time it had been commonly thought that slaves in the general plantation population didn't make quilts. The selection "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker explores the role heritage and culture play in an individual's understanding of his or her life and identity.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (9)
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.9-10.1]
ELA2015 (9)
2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.9-10.2]
ELA2015 (9)
25. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. [W.9-10.6]
ELA2015 (9)
26. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. [W.9-10.7]
ELA2015 (9)
27. Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. [W.9-10.8]
ELA2015 (9)
28. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.9-10.9]
a. Apply Grade 9 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]"). [W.9-10.9a]
b. Apply Grade 9 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning"). [W.9-10.9b]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

This lesson will enable students to:

a. understand the contributions of the past to the present

b. interpret and analyze a short story about family and hertiage

c. define theme and metaphor and recognize the use of these literary elements

d. design a quilt

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Copy of "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker

Computer with Internet

Vocabulary handout


Technology Resources Needed:



In order for students to appreciate and understand this selection, the teacher needs to introduce students to quilting. The teacher should have taught literary elements such as point of view, theme, metaphor and symbol).


1.  The teacher should have the students work in small groups to discuss the older and younger generations. Have each group discuss truths they have about their parents generation and a list of truths their parents have about their generations.

2.  After about ten minutes, allow each group to share their list. Once truths have been given from each group, have the students tell you how or why these truths were formed about their parents' generation and why these truths were formed for the younger generation.

3.  Now explain to the students, the selection they are about to read examines the role heritage and culture plays in an individual's understanding of his or her life and identity.

4.  Ask students to consider the following questions as they read the selection:

  • Do you think family heirlooms are important? Why?
  • If you have a family heirloom you cherish, what makes it valuable to you?
  • If you could pass anything to your future generations what would you give them and why?


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Assessment Strategies

Have students create a quilt.

Have students write a compare/contrast essay about the two sisters in the selection.





The teacher could have students create a museum of quilts based on the locality of the school.

The teacher could also stage a Talk Show and invite local quilters to the school and allow the students to pose questions about quilting.


Based on the learning style of the students, the students could be divided into their learning style group. For example the kinesthetic group could role-play a scene between the two sisters; visual learner could create their own drawing of the quilts the narrator has; and an auditory learners could do reader's theater of their favorite scene in the story.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.