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Planning and Making a Mini-Quilt

Location: Unknown

Students create a quilt using the three transformations and investigate the ways shapes can be colored to show one-half and one-fourth. They locate lines of symmetry and create a set of directions for making their quilt block.

At this point, you may wish to read another of the books listed in the Paper Quilts Bibliography.

pdficonPaper Quilts Bibliography 

Review with students a model square the transformations that they studied in the previous three lessons. Then review the terms half and fourth. Then assign the children to groups of 4 and give each group four 3-inch by 3-inch paper squares, as well as copies of a quilt pattern, such as the ones on the the overhead. (You may wish to project the sample blocks for the students.)

overhead Sample Patterns Overhead 

Encourage students to work together to design a quilt square such that one half of the square is red, one fourth is blue and one fourth is green. Once they have decided on a pattern, each child in the group should color a square in that way. Then ask the students to explore ways to put the four individual squares together to make a Four Patch block. Ask the students to glue the Four Patch block design onto a piece of paper and write the directions for creating it to share with others.

When the children are ready, call them together to share how they created their Four Patch block designs. Then ask them to point which part of the large design is red, which part is blue, and which part is green. As you discuss with the students how the square was colored, you may wish to color model squares in the same way. Then have students reflect on how they can tell how parts are halves (or quarters) of the whole. You may want to collect these reflections to use as an assessment. As students reflect upon their designs, they should record the "directions" for creating their quilt blocks. Students should also locate lines of symmetry within the quilt designs, both their own and other classmates'.

Assessment Options 

  1. At this stage of the unit, it is important for students to know:
    • the names and effects of the moves
    • how to determine equal parts of a whole
    • the fractional names one-half and one-fourth and use them correctly
    • how to find a line of symmetry
  2. The guiding questions help students focus on the mathematics and aid you in understanding the students’ level of knowledge and skill with the mathematical concepts of this lesson.

Questions for Students 

  1. What type of moves (transformations) did you use? Could you have gotten the same design with other moves?
  2. How did you decide what moves to make when you designed the Four part block?
  3. When you colored one half of the design, what part was left?
  4. Are the halves in each of the squares the same shape? The quarters?
  5. What did you do to check that the parts were equal?
  6. Did you find a line of symmetry? Was there more than one?

Teacher Reflection 

  • Which students met all the objectives of this lesson? What extension activities are appropriate for those students?
  • Which students are still having difficulty with the objectives of this less
  • What additional instructional experiences do they need?
  • Are students able to explain their reasoning? Are their reasons logical?
  • What vocabulary did students use that might need to be reinforced in the next lesson?

Parts of a Square

Students investigate the ways shapes can be divided into equal pieces with one or two cuts. The lesson provides a review of the following vocabulary terms: square, triangle, and rectangle; congruent, one-half, and one-fourth. The other lessons in this unit build on this introductory lesson.

Describing Designs

Students create designs and describe them to a classmate, using fractional and geometric terms. This lesson provides a context for using the following vocabulary terms: horizontal, vertical, square, rectangle, triangle, diagonal, one-half, and one-fourth.

Exploring Flips and Slides

This lesson builds on the previous two lessons and encourages students to explore the geometric transformations of reflections and translations. Students create a design. Then, using flips and slides, students make a four-part paper "mini-quilt." While the formal terms are reflection and translation, the more informal terms slide and flip are used at this stage. The experience focuses students’ attention on the changes these geometric transformations make in a student-designed quilt square.

Exploring Turns

This lesson encourages students to explore the geometric transformation of rotation. Students create a design then, using turns, make a four‑part paper "mini-quilt" with that design as the basis. While the formal term is rotation, the more informal turn is used at this grade band. The experience focuses students’ attention on the changes the geometric transformations make in a student-designed quilt square.

Analyzing Designs

This lesson encourages students to explore the geometric transformation of rotation, reflection and translation more fully. Students create a design then, using flips, turns, and slides, make a 4-part paper "mini-quilt" square with that design as the basis. This experience focuses students’ attention on both the changes produced by the geometric transformations and on line symmetry.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Explore ways to color a square to show two and four equal parts.
  • Create a four-patch quilt square using flips, slides and turns.
  • Use geometric and fractional terms to describe their quilt square.
  • Locate lines of symmetry.

NCTM Standards and Expectations

  • Describe location and movement using common language and geometric vocabulary.
  • Predict and describe the results of sliding, flipping, and turning two-dimensional shapes.

Common Core State Standards – Mathematics

Grade 4, Geometry

  • CCSS.Math.Content.4.G.A.3
    Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.