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The Keeping Quilt Book Review and Activities

The Keeping Quilt Book Review and Activities


The Keeping Quilt
by Patricia Polacco

A Russian immigrant mother and her family arrive in the United States. She plans to make a quilt from a basket of old clothes. She tells her daughter, “It will be like having the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night”. The quilt is given from mother to daughter for four generations. It becomes a tablecloth for the Sabbath and a canopy over the bride and groom at their wedding. When it becomes a blanket for new generations of children, it tells the family’s story of love, history and adventure for all times.

1. Talk about the many family traditions portrayed throughout the book. Make a list with your child of your family traditions. Think about the holidays and what your family traditions are that you do to celebrate each holiday. Pick a favorite holiday and write with your child -

Who comes?

What do you do?

Where does this happen?

When do you celebrate (month, time of day, etc.) ?

Why do you celebrate ?

2. Create a family tree. Talk about where did your family come from?

Who are your grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins?

3. Create a quilt out of paper.

You could use tangram shapes to help you plan your quilt.

You can trace and cut out the shapes using these forms.

Use colored paper or cut up magazines to make your quilt.

4. Create a real quilt for your room.

Take fabric and cut into squares.

Have each member of your family decorate each square.

After you have created at least 12 squares, sew them together to make a quilt.

You might want to add pieces of fabric from things around your house that remind you of special times like your old baby blanket, an old tablecloth your family used for special holidays, an old tie from your Dad or Granddad, etc.






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