Given the time constraints all teachers are in, we are told to blend subjects together in one lesson in order to cover multiple subjects at one time. For example, you can teach social studies in reading, pretty much anything in writing, but math is a subject that I have found hard to double dip. The following lesson does a wonderful job of teaching fractions and social studies in one pop.
The Real World Task for Math Unit 3 in fourth grade requires the students to develop a scaled paper diagram of a barn quilt to learn about fractions and measurement. I modified the lesson to create a quilt square that has a design similar to those used on the quilts that guided runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. So we end up learning about slavery, the Civil War, the Underground Railroad AND fractional parts.
Here are some of our quilt squares and lesson realizations:
“I learned from the quilt square that fraction parts have to be equal.” Aman
“This activity made me think about fractions by learning that fractions come in different shapes and sizes.” Gretchen
“I learned that a fraction has to be symmetrical and equal.” Alex
“I messed up because the parts weren’t equal, then I used a ruler and made them equal.” Talia
“The first time I started my picture it looked messed up because the parts weren’t equal. The second time I took my time and got it all straight.” Prakruti
“It reminded me that fractions have to be equal because at first my quilt parts were not even so Mrs. Raci gave me a new sheet. I took a fractional quilt square example and added lines to make the fractional parts smaller.” Lauren
“The quilt square made me think about how fractions need to be equivalent pieces. I thought about that while adding a fraction. The denominator does not change. It made me think how fractions could be bigger and smaller but still be sixths.” Gurveer