Keynote Quilting for Black History Month


Digital Quilt with portraits of African American Women Changemakers

This year’s Black History Month Theme is Resistance. The Library of Congress has a Free to Use and Reuse Primary Source collection titled: Images of African American Women Changemakers.  Here is a blog post in Teaching with the Library of Congress by Danna Bell about that collection.

And we all know that to get learning to linger and make a difference in actions and attitudes, it helps if learners are involved in the activity creation process of a commemorative or celebratory history month.

So I thought about how this theme might be crafted into a Challenge Based Learning lesson, starting with the Engagement phase:

  • Big idea - Black History Month
  • Essential question - How can we highlight the contributions of African American Women throughout Black History?
  • Challenge - Spread the word on Black History Women Changemakers

Your learners with come up with their own challenges.

And perhaps one of the activities they select, might be a digital quilt in Keynote. Learners collaborate on stitching the story of the contributions of African American women into a class quilt and then print or digitally share that quilt around the school or community.

Quilts have been made to honor heroes or causes and stitching for a purpose is a way to tell a story. Actual quilting in a class would be marvelous but if you don’t have the time or supplies, digital quilting can be a quick substitute, still conveying a message while also emphasizing research and learning.

To try with learners, create a template in Keynote emulating a quilt. This example is from a pattern in the Library of Congress.  In each square add a shape that you’d like a photo of a Changemaker to be “masked into.” (Add Shape and photo to a Keynote slide, tap the Shape and the photo, then select “Mask with Shape” from the Format Menu.)


Digital Quilt Template

Now have learners share and inspire. This activity can be applied to a variety of topics and content areas.

Here are a couple other posts in our Apple Education Community Social Studies “bucket” that would work for Black History Month (and beyond).

What other activities or creative and impactful lessons have you set up for Black History Month? Please share!

All Replies

Posted on February 06, 2023

Using Keynote for a history quilt is SUCH a great idea! Having kids collaborate to tell a story in such a simple way is fantastic - and using Keynote they could even make it a "multimedia" quilt with videos, links, and audio to add to the story too. Thanks for sharing this idea!

Posted on February 06, 2023

Like your expansion idea - adding a multimedia component with videos & links - Thanks!

Posted on January 04, 2024

Cheryl, this is another excellent way to showcase students' learning. Thank you for bringing my attention to it. Have an excellent New Year!

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