WHO ARE WE? – Back to School Class Quilt

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

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8


Art Techniques
Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour contrast pattern repetition symbol zentangle


Water Containers Painting Paper 45 cm x 60 cm Watercolour Paints Crayons Paint Brushes


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

Step One

Draw your name on one end of the paper. Make sure it is double lined and fills the space. Colour lots of different designs that represent your energy and personality along the strip of paper. Use your favourite colours. Press hard with the crayons to get lots of crayon on the paper.

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

Step Two

Repeat lines and patterns or use some zentangles to fill the paper.

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

Step Three

Wet the watercolours with a small amount of water before you begin. Make sure you get lots of paint on your brush and then paint over the crayon design. The wax and paint will not mix so your design will show through. This is called crayon resist technique.

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

Step Four

Use different colours of paint. Choose colours that will contrast with your crayon designs.

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

Step Five

Place 5 strips in a vertical position on a table. Weave the remaining strips over and under these five strips of paper. 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 Six

Step Six

This quilt has 26 strips. You may have to adjust your weaving depending on how many strips of paper you have. Play with the arrangement until you are satisfied with how it looks.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

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


  1. Have students research the meaning of their name and compare the meaning with their use of colour, line and symbols.
  2. Have students explore different fonts and decorative lettering.


  1. Pre-cut painting paper into strips 7.6 cm x 60 cm (3" x 24")
  2. Gather the materials required for this activity.
  3. Prepare a story about your own name to use as an example. 
  4. Display some books about lettering, for example,
    AlphaTangle: A Truly Tangled Alphabet, by Sandy Bartholomew, Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists, by Jenny Doh, 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 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. Get them to think about what kinds of colours, lines, patterns and symbols might represent these qualities.
  3. Talk about how repetition of lines, shapes and colours can give a sense of rhythm in a design. Encourage them to break up the entire space with shapes, lines, and colours.
  4. Ask volunteers to demonstrate how to use repetition to create a sense of rhythm in a design.
  5. If you are planning to introduce zentangles show some videos or demonstrate the process for the class.
  6. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  7. Observe students as they work. 
  8. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. When all the name designs are complete ask students to take turns sharing their work in small groups. Have students first tell what they think the design is communicating about the artist. Remind them to support their ideas with evidence found in the work. Ask them, "What do you see that makes you say that?" 
  2. Once students have said what they think, have the artist say what he/she intended. 
  3. 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 ryhthm? What message does this communicate?
    - creativity – How does the design reflect the uniqueness of the artist?
  4. Ask a few volunteers to share what they learned.
  5. Organize the designs in a way that is pleasing and weave them together to create a class quilt.
  6. Talk about what the weaving together of each name design means for them as a class.



  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.