After my students finish reading their historical fiction book club book, I have them complete a project called "Quilting the Past." The description of this project is below:
You and your book club have been reading your book critically and looking at how power, position, and perspective all interact and effect your story. You and your book club will be making a quilt of twelve squares that will tell the story of your book club book. The goal is that if someone looks at your quilt they will understand the story, as well as understand how power, position, and perspective all interact.
As they complete the project, students break up the tile pieces as a group. Each student must complete three tiles minimum. The tiles include:
1) The title and author
2) Compare and contrast two or more characters in the story drawing on specific details in the text. Be sure to discuss how the characters interact with one another. Explain why you think they interact this way.
3) Historical setting – explain why it is significant to the story and how it affects power, position, and perspective.
4) Order your characters from most power to least power. Write an explanation for why you ordered your characters the way you did. Include specific examples, quotes, and page numbers from the story to back up your list.
5) 5) Discuss how positioning affected your story. Find three examples of when a character’s position in the story affected what a character did or said. Explain these examples thoroughly using clear explanations, quotes, and page numbers.
6) Discuss the main characters perspective. Then discuss how the story would be different if it was told by another character. Use specific examples, quotes, and page numbers to prove this was your characters perspective. Explain how the character’s perspective or point of view affects how the events are described.
7) Discuss the author’s message and theme in the story. There may be more than one. If the theme changes throughout the story, be sure to explain how you know this is the case. Include specific examples, quotes, and page numbers to prove the author’s message and theme is what you say it is.
8) Your choice tile – you may write a letter to a character, develop an emotional timeline, write connections you made to the book, or highlight significant events in the story, including the problem and solution.
9-12) Research: Include a tile that shares the information you discovered about issues of the world that relate to your book’s time period
Each person in the book club group MUST complete a "research" tile. This tile requires them to read another book (fiction or non-fiction) that relates to the time period they read about. After they do this, they must compare and contrast the two books, share how the author's perspective is similar or different, and discussion how power, position, and perspective all interact.
Three rubrics are included for you to grade the three tiles each student turns in. When students are done, you can get a big piece of construction paper and have students put all the tiles together to make a quilt of their learning!