The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy pictures by Jerry Pinkney
Geometry, Number Sense, and Algebra
Students will recognize squares and find a pattern for counting squares.
Lesson Created by:
Joe Gelroth, Eugene Field Elementary, Manhattan, KS
- Book (The Patchwork Quilt, by Valerie Flourney), pencils, prepared picture of a quilt made with a 9x9 block of 81 squares.
1. Launching the lesson (engage):
- Read the story.
- Ask the question: "If the quilt is made up of small squares joined together into a 9 by 9 pattern, how many squares are in the quilt?"
2. Developing the lesson:
- Provide the students with a prepared drawing of a nine by nine pattern of small squares and encourage them to count the squares.
- The students will quickly respond that there are 81 squares. Encourage them to count all the squares, not just the smallest ones.
- The students will soon discover that there are lots of squares of many different sizes. The must be encouraged to organize their counting pattern in order to solve the problem.
- Discuss with the students what patterns they discovered as they attempted to count all the squares.
- Discuss how they organized their work.
- Discuss what pattern emerged that made the counting of the squares easier than just using "brute force" and attempting to count each and every square.
- If the students are successful in finding a pattern, they can be challenged to extend their thinking and attempt to solve for the number of squares in a much larger quilt.