Quilt 6 Inspires “New Quilt” in Maryland

12 06 2012

Quilt 6 Clear Spring Middle School

 Quilt 6 arrived with only about 2 weeks left of our school year. The 7th grade Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Beck, took the quilt in and devised a plan for each of her 7th grade classes. The students had already studied the Arctic earlier in the year and also had touched briefly on the Iditarod.

Each of Mrs. Beck’s classes read biographies about the  2012 racers and also a story about Susan Butcher, which is in one of the Language Literature books. Students watched some videos about the 2012 race and read news clippings on the Iditarod website about the event. In addition, Mrs. Beck read from Winterdance, a book by Gary Paulsen about his experiences with the Iditarod and dog-sled racing.

The students were introduced to the quilt on the first day and also viewed the scrapbook. For the student contributions, each class was given a topic in which to make a new quilt. The kids were responsible for creating a square based on their topic. Some of the topics were: Maryland, The United States, Europe, The Arctic region,  etc.

Mrs. Beck worked on new quilt squares with the kids for about a week, and just before school’s end collected them to take home and assemble them over the  summer into new quilts, which we will auction off through the PTA . The proceeds will benefit our school next year.


Quilt 9 Ends the School Year in California

11 06 2012

I thought I would sort of outline what we did in our year-long study of The Iditarod.

We did get to display the quilt for a good long time so the students got to really read and look at all of the quilt squares.  We also discussed the squares.  Another thing that we had time for was to watch Trent Herbst’s CD.  The kids loved it and I was amazed.  I learned a lot about how mushers prepare for the race.  It was great for the kids to see other students filling checkpoint bags with everything that is needed for the trail.

Our year-long Unit.

Sept. – Oct. = Study of landforms – We learn about and make a relief map of Alaska’s landforms.  We label and paint our maps also (we make the maps out of crayola modeling compound because we use the maps all year and they compound doesn’t break apart).

Nov. – Dec. = Study of Arctic animals – We research and write reports about the animals found in Alaska.

Jan. = Study of dogs used in The Iditarod = We label dog parts, learn about Huskies and Malamutes and discuss breeding for certain attributes for Iditarod (good leadership, endurance etc).  Then we make sock puppies to look like Huskies with a dark cap etc.  They take the puppies home and record all of the things they do with their puppies in a journal

Feb. = Mushers – We pick mushers to follow and learn a little bit about them.

Mar. = Checkpoints and Iditarod – We pick a checkpoint and learn about its location on The Iditarod Trail, weather, etc.  We label some checkpoints on our map and put The Iditarod Trail on the map also.  Then we complete the maps by making a map key.  Then we chart our mushers’ progress and keep track of all of the happenings during the race.  We also participate in Iditaread (We keep track of how many pages we read to see how many times we can get from Anchorage to Nome during the actual time the race takes).  Then we write letters pretending that we are mushers, telling our parents about our Iditarod adventures (signed with their firt name and their musher’s last name)  They get their pictures taken with snow gear on standing on our fake sled and we put their letter over their picture using the computer program Pages.

Then we have Open House where we display all of the things we did all year.  The picture shows this year’s bulletin board Our Journey to Iditarod.  It was a timeline of the build up of learning towards Iditarod.

It shows our Landforms bridge maps on the left, then the Arctic animals reports and pictures had to go on the side board, then you see the paper plate dogs and the puppies and their houses on the lower counter with the journals.  Over by March are the Musher trading cards and checkpoint info cards.  You can also see their musher dolls ( that have photos of the kids for their faces) and the chart of where each of their mushers were on each day of the race (to compare one musher’s progress with another’s).  You can see the maps on the students’ desks and those stand up projects on their desks are their musher letters.

I got some of the ideas from Teacher on the Trail lesson plans (sock puppies and musher trading cards) and adapted other ideas from things I did with other subjects.  All of the activities address Second Grade California State Standards in some way.

Quilt 7 Visits Florida to End the Year!

21 05 2012

Quilt 7 visited Ms. Bahu’s class in Bradenton, Florida.

To learn more about the quilt’s visit to Florida, please click here and read this newsletter..

Quilt 6 Visited North Carolina in April

18 05 2012

Quilt #6 visited Mt. Pleasant Middle School in April with three classes of sixth grade English students.

Displayed in the classroom, Quilt provided group work for three groups—one group designed and created a bar graph representing their class’ favorite quilt square, another group analyzed the quilt for similarities and differences and then created a Venn diagram to pictorially represent the findings, and the third group worked together to develop a rubric for a quilt square project. While the students were familiar with the tools they were using—bar graphs, Venn diagrams, and rubrics—the challenge took them to higher order thinking skills—applying, evaluating, analyzing, creating. The group developing a rubric found it especially challenging to describe the rubric’s criteria in an exact manner. Lots of thinking out loud and give and take was heard in that group. All of this, generated by pieces of fabric from schools around the country, stitched together.

Quilt 4 Spends April in Texas

18 05 2012

Quilt 4 finished its amazing 2011 -2012 journey in Mrs. French’s 4th grade classroom in Houston, Texas.

We were very excited to be a part of the traveling quilt project this year! Receiving the quilt at the end of March was an added bonus to our Iditarod unit. After studying the quilt and enjoying the different pieces, we decided our lesson would tie the quilt project to the celebration of National Poetry Month in April. We chose the quilt piece titled, “Journey 2 Wonder, Pursue Your Dream” and proceeded to write poems about our dreams. The children in my class are all bilingual and this is their first year in an English speaking classroom.

I am very proud of their poems and hope you will enjoy some of the ones I shared. They truly enjoyed learning about Alaska and the challenges of the Iditarod race. My hope is they can follow their dreams, just as many of our favorite mushers follow theirs!

Our Dream Poems

by Mrs. French’s 4th graders

My dream is to go to Alaska

Feeling the cold wind below zero

The snow hitting my face

Seeing everyone in the Iditarod race!

Also, seeing all the wilderness

Going from city to city

To travel into Alaska

Would complete my dream….

 By Jairo


My dream is to be a pianist

I would dazzle the crowd

With my ecstatic talent.

I will never let my beloved dream go

It is so precious, like a blue diamond.

I will never let my dream break.

  By Daniela


My dream is to compete in the Iditarod.

Race for fun, and not to win

How I enjoyed following the race

I just want to feel the cold breeze

I want to spy all the cities

Being in the Iditarod race.

Snow flowing in my face

Would be really, really fun .

That is my dream,

To compete in the Iditarod race!

 By Kayla


How I wish to go to Disneyworld!

The games, characters, and food.

Going to Disneyworld would be

My dream come true!

 By Alexandra


My dream is to be a musician

Oh, that’s what I want to be

Why can’t you see?

Me playing the guitar

Is not very far than what I believe

To be a musician is my dream.

  By  Faith


My dream is to play basketball

Dribbling the ball

Trying to stay tall

Making hoops through all the game

Trying to be famous

Having all the fame!

 By Andrea


I love the Iditarod race

I love the place

I wish I could go there one day

So I can play

My dream is to go to the Iditarod…

 By  Jose Luis

Quilt 1 in Washington

18 05 2012

A message from Richland, Washington, and Ms. Ufford’s classroom.

We used the quilt to help students understand theme and message.  Many of the messages on the quilt had a deeper, thoughtful meaning.  We had a lot of discussion as to what they meant.  This was a great introduction to how stories have a theme or message and tied nicely into my curriculum.

Quilt 5 Spends Iditarod in New York

17 05 2012

In March, Quilt #5 visited Arthur S. May Elementary in Poughkeepsie, NY.  We were so excited to host the quilt during the Iditarod!  Every year, our school has a school-wide reading program called P.A.R.P. (Parents As Reading Partners).  This year, the theme was Idit-A-Read.

We hung the quilt in the library for the entire school to see.  Prizes were given for students who read for the required amount of minutes.  The prizes were dog book marks, paw prints, and other Iditarod goodies.  We had such a fun time hosting.

Thank you!

Judy McGuire