CODE/MOE/UOIT Makerspaces Project

Grade 6, 7, 8 Lesson Plan: Language Arts & Visual Arts

“Shine the Light” - Social Justice Light Quilt

Lesson Objectives:

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge and develop innovative products and process using technology.

Curriculum Expectations:

Writing: generate ideas about more challenging topics and identify those most appropriate for the purpose

Visual Arts: create art works, using a variety of traditional forms and current media technologies, that express feelings, ideas, and issues, including opposing points of view

Media Literacy: produce a variety of media texts of some technical complexity for specific purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques

*other subjects: depending on teacher’s choice, if a teacher chooses to make it subject specific or open to any expectation related to material covered or to be covered*

Learning Goals:

“We are learning to…”

-brainstorm ideas and create consensus about a social justice issue of importance

-collaborate to use the green screen to produce a video, using tableaus about the social justice issues (optional)

-use 21st Century Learning Goals:

-work collaboratively (together)

-problem solve

-talk through our learning

- listen to each other

-be creative

Success Criteria:  

“We will be successful when…”

-we have used 21st century competencies (collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity) to bring awareness to a specific social justice issue by creating a visual expression light quilt (e-textile)

-we expressed our views in our created video to bring awareness to the chosen social justice issue (optional)

Lesson Overview:

Students will create an e-textile quilt using squares of personally designed symbols to represent a social justice issue.  Each square will use LED lights to “shine on the issue”.  Students will also create a video using tableaus to express their view of the social justice issue. (optional)

Materials and Technology:  


-green screen

-LED lights



-glue or needle and craft thread

-coin batteries

-electrical tape

Student Accommodations/Modifications:  

-students may glue pieces together instead of sewing pieces together on their square

Lesson will be differentiated by:

  • Content, specifically:
  • Process, specifically: extra time to meet the deadlines; extended deadline (if needed)
  • Product, specifically: paired students-2 students creating one square
  • Environment, specifically:  

MINDS ON:  Getting Started

-teacher will begin by asking students to think of ideas or issues that are important to them (equity issues)

-generate conversation about issues which may be important locally, nationally, globally

-explain the task:

  1. students will be creating an e-textile (light quilt)
  2. purpose: to bring awareness to a social justice issue - shine the light
  3. students will brainstorm various social justice issues
  4. get class consensus for the issue
  5. each student will design and create a quilt square, using 2-3 LED lights

-teacher: observe and make notes about students as they discuss/generate ideas , offer appropriate support and questioning to encourage deep thinking

-students brainstorm various social justice issues and share why this issue is important to them

-brainstorm questions: discuss opposing views about the issue. eg. access to water: Why some have or do not have?

-ideas may be sparked by interactions with various media forms (television, social media, articles, class discussions, etc.)

-Learning activity introduction: students access prior knowledge of the 21st century competencies and the importance of developing the skills to complete tasks requiring innovation/creativity. Then, students will popcorn topics that are important to them (framed around equity) to encourage issues/ideas related to social justice.

-To assess/evaluate 21st century competencies, teachers may use a checklist or anecdotal notes.

-Groupings: teacher’s discretion based on ability, choice or other needs

ACTION:  Working on it

-students brainstorm to create a design for their personal square.  

-students will reproduce their design using felt and LED lights (final product)

-NOTE: advise students about the over complexity of their designs, as they have to cut pieces with felt for the final product

-teacher: encourage dialogue with students and student to student to discuss their design

-optional: students can submit a paragraph explaining their thinking of their design and how it is connected to social justice issue

QUESTION: Explain, what attributes/aspects of your design, bring awareness to the social justice issue?

Students are engaged in using visuals to represent their opinions/view/ideas connected to a class selected social justice issue, therefore, each student is connected to the selected topic.  Students should be engaged in conversation with each other and the teacher to demonstrate their view of the social justice.   Understanding is demonstrated in their ability to share their ideas in their conversations and written piece (optional).

Teachers: anecdotal records may be most effective as evidence will collected from conversation.

Students may encounter difficulties, if their designs are too difficult to reproduce using the felt.

CONSOLIDATION:  Reflecting and Connecting

-students may not be finished designing their designs or the light square, but students are encouraged to complete the optional paragraph (share their thinking)

-students may be asked to share their highlights and lowlights working on this task

Metacognition Questions:

  1. In what way have the 21st century skills, listening and speaking skills helped you in designing your square?
  2. In what way, was class conversation/discussion helpful in generating ideas for this project?
  3. What were the challenges in gaining class consensus on a social justice issue topic?

Teachers may ask students to complete a journal or exit ticket using one or some of the questions above to help students share their thinking and reflection on the task.

Students should be also thinking of how they will contribute to the class video about the quilt (optional task)

Brookview Middle School—Toronto District School Board

Adapted from