Washington County

Barn Quilt Trail

Educational Activities

​​​​​​​​​ASL Version of The Quiltmaker's Gift

There is a wonderful resource on YouTube that tells the story of The Quiltmaker's Gift using American Sign Language.

The video takes about 20 minutes. There is no sound - just the images from the book and the insert with the interpreter telling the story using ASL. 

Early Learning

Here are some ways to talk about this book with a young child:

Ask questions like these towards the beginning of the book:

- Do you think it made the quiltmaker happy to help people? Why do you think that?

- The king had so many beautiful things, why do you think he was so unhappy?

- Did the king ever share his things with other people?

Then, ask questions like these towards the end of the book:

- Do you think the king feels happy now that he gave away everything he owned?

- Why do you think he changed?

- Do you think the quiltmaker helped the king by teaching him to share?

- How do you feel when you share something that is special to you? Why? 

When you model turn-taking and sharing in a positive light, you give a child a wonderful example to follow. Some ways to encourage sharing are:

- Point out good sharing done by others. You can find examples in books a child enjoys.
- When you see a child trying to take turns or share, acknowledge her or his good efforts.
- Play games with a child that involve turn-taking and sharing.

Elementary School Age

Kindness Quilt

Lincoln Quilt (head outline to use to make paper or fabric quilts)

Memorable Moment Quilt

Quilt Math (Thousands, Hundreds, Tens, and Ones Place Values)

Quilt Stationary

Middle School Age

Discovering Happiness (multi-disciplinary lesson plan with ideas for service learning activities)

High School Age

Story of Giving - Through the use of a fable, learners will understand that the giving of their time, talent and treasure will improve the quality of life in their communities.

Curriculum and Resource Books

Multi-Disciplinary Enrichment Guide for The Quiltmaker's Gift play (wonderful resource packed with lots of activities and information)

Multi-Disciplinary Unit for Fourth Graders (could easily be adapted for older or younger youth)

Quick Quilts Across the Curriculum by Kathy Pike
Quilt Math by Cindi Mitchell

Quilt and Learn Activities by Kathy Pike
Quilts Around the Year by Linda Seward & Penny Brown

The Quiltmaker's Gift Unit Study

Reflection Questions/Philosophical Discussion

The following questions were written by Cassiel Owens and found on Teaching Children Philosophy.

The Quiltmaker spends all of her time making quilts only to give them away:

- Why does she only give them to the poor or homeless?
- Why won't she accept money for her quilts?
- Does the Quiltmaker seem happy? Why/Why not?
- Would you be happy to work all day and give your work away? Why/ Why not?

In the beginning of the story we are told that the king is "not happy at all."'

- Why do you think that the King is not happy even though he is a King with two birthdays and so many treasures?
- Would you be happy if you were a Queen or King with so many treasures? Why/Why not?
- Can you be happy without treasures? How?

The King meets the Quiltmaker in a search for the one thing that will finally make him happy. (However, at the end of the story the King has no things but is happy.)

- Is the quilt what makes the King happy?
- What does make him happy?
- How does getting a gift make you feel?
- How does giving a gift make you feel?

The King begins to give his treasures away in exchange for a quilt.

- Does one have to be a Queen or King with treasures to give something away?
- Do you have to give away a thing to make someone happy, or is there another way of giving?

Service Learning Project Ideas for 4-H Clubs, Homeschool Co-ops, School Groups/Classrooms, and/or Individuals

"Sew" Much Fun

Americorps Service Project Ideas (includes ideas for helping those experiencing homelessness)

YES (Youth Ethics in Service): Service Project Ideas