WHO ARE WE? – Back to School Class Quilt

Students use crayon resist technique to create name designs on long strips of paper that are woven together to create a class quilt.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour contrast pattern repetition symbol zentangle


Crayola Regular Crayons - NOT Washable Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Watercolour Paints - 8 Count Painting Paper - 45 cm x 60 cm (18" x 24") - Cut into strips 7.6 cm x 60 cm (3" x 24") - 1 per student Water Containers Paper Towels Pencils Erasers

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WHO ARE WE? – Back to School Class Quilt - Step One

Step One

  1. Divide the paper strip into 8 cm spaces.
  2. Draw your name on one end of the paper.
  3. Colour lots of different designs that represent your energy and personality along the strip of paper.
  4. Use your favourite colours.
  5. Press hard with the crayons to get lots of crayon on the paper.
  6. Repeat lines and patterns or use some zentangles to fill the paper.
WHO ARE WE? – Back to School Class Quilt - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Wet the watercolours with a small amount of water before you begin.
  2. Make sure you get lots of paint on your brush and then paint over the crayon design.
  3. The wax and paint will not mix so your design will show through.
  4. This is called crayon resist technique.
  5. Use different colours of paint.
  6. Choose colours that will contrast with your crayon designs.
WHO ARE WE? – Back to School Class Quilt - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place 5 strips in a vertical position on a table.
  2. Weave the remaining strips over and under these five strips of paper.
  3. Once that is done, attach 5 more strips to the bottom of the first 5 vertical strips and continue to weave the quilt. 
WHO ARE WE? – Back to School Class Quilt - Step Four

Step Four

  1. The finished quilt will have 26 strips.
  2. Adjust your weaving depending on how many strips of paper you have.
  3. Play with the arrangement until you are satisfied with how it looks.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a name design that expresses ideas about their energy and personality;
  • use crayon resist technique to show contrast;
  • use repetition to create patterns;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • research the meaning of their name;
  • compare the meaning of their name with their use of colour, line and symbols;
  • explore different fonts and decorative lettering;
  • design a font that best expresses the meaning of their name;
  • create a sculpture using the font they designed, colours and shapes that express ideas about their identity;
  • write an artist statement to explain their ideas and process;
  • share their work with others.


  1. Gather the materials required for this activity.
  2. Pre-cut painting paper into strips 7.6 cm x 60 cm (3" x 24").
  3. Prepare a story about your own name to use as an example. 
  4. Gather and make available books about lettering, for example, AlphaTangle: A Truly Tangled Alphabet, by Sandy Bartholomew; Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists, by Jenny Doh; and The Art of Whimsical Lettering, by Joanne Sharpe.
  5. Preview zentangle videos, for example,


  1. Ask students to work in small groups. Invite them to take turns telling a story about their name. Prompt their thinking by posing some questions. For example, 
    How did you get your name?
    Do you like your name? What would you have called yourself if not the name you were given?
    Are you named after anyone?
    What does your name mean?
  2. Provide a short example by telling about your own name.
  3. Once students have shared their stories in small groups ask for a few volunteers to share their story with the whole class. 
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a name design that expresses ideas about your energy and personality.
  2. Use crayon resist technique to show contrast.
  3. Use repetition to create patterns and rhythm.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Ask students to think about their own energy levels and personalities.
  3. Get them to think about what kinds of colours, lines, patterns and symbols might represent these qualities.
  4. Talk about how repetition of lines, shapes and colours can give a sense of rhythm in a design.
  5. Encourage them to break up the entire space with shapes, lines, and colours.
  6. Ask volunteers to demonstrate how to use repetition to create a sense of rhythm in a design.
  7. If you are planning to introduce zentangles show some videos or demonstrate the process for the class.
  8. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  9. Observe students as they work. 
  10. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Ask students to take turns sharing their work in small groups.
  2. Have students first tell what they think the design is communicating about the artist.
  3. Remind them to support their ideas with evidence found in the work. Ask them, "What do you see that makes you say that?" 
  4. Once students have said what they think, have the artist say what he/she intended. 
  5. During the discussion include references to:
    ​- contrast – How has the choice of colour created contrast? How does this affect the overall design?
    - repetition – How has the use of repetition created a sense of rhythm? What message does this communicate?
    - creativity – How does the design reflect the uniqueness of the artist?
  6. Ask a few volunteers to share what they learned.
  7. Organize the designs in a way that is pleasing and weave them together to create a class quilt.
  8. Talk about what is communicated about the class by weaving together all the name designs.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their designs – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the design, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.