In many fourth grade classrooms, kids study state history as part of their social studies curriculum, and teachers often use lots of hands-on activities to bring the past to life. Here’s one project that may be a little challenging for today’s fourth graders, but was a common craft for children in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: make a handcrafted potholder! There are a multitude of quilt designs to choose from, but this one comes from the Amish of Pennsylvania who were (and are) devoted to a lifestyle of simplicity. The Amish used only solid colored fabric in their work and continue to do so today.
This potholder activity gives kids practice in calculating measurement, an important skill in both elementary math and science. Once your child has completed this potholder, don’t hesitate to do others with her—each one will be one more useful step to math mastery.