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Programs for public and private schools and homeschoolers are offered Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All programs are free, but reservations are required at least two weeks in advance, with a minimum of 5 and maximum of 30 students. An adult chaperone must be provided for every five students. School self-guides are also available in lieu of tour. For school program information or reservations, please call the Curator of Education at (202) 879-3240 or email

Patterns and Shapes in Quilts (Grades K - 3)

In this engaging, interactive program, students use quilts in the collection to learn both math and history. The program focuses on object-based learning following national standards. In math, students use geometry to examine existing quilts and create their own quilt designs using different shapes. In history, students discover that people from the past were very social while making quilts and had to do many things together.
Students spend time in our gallery looking at quilts from our collection. They are asked to identify shapes, composite shapes, and fractions (one half, etc.). Using inquiry-based learning, we discuss the quilts in terms of the people who made and used them. The quilts illustrate how social people were in the past, coming together to make the quilt and also to sleep under it since many siblings had to share a bed for warmth.
For the activity portion of the program, students make a quilt block using shapes of colored paper and glue. Students rotate, flip and combine shapes in order to achieve the assigned geometry goal (which varies based on grade level).

Common Core Standards


  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.1 Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.4 Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.6 Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”

First Grade   

  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.2.  Create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape”
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.3. Using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of.”

Second Grade

  • CCSS.Math.Content.2.G.A.1. “Identify triangles, quadrilaterals"
  • CCSS.Math.Content.2.G.A.3. “using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc.”

Third Grade

  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.G.A.1       “Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals...”

Programs of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution are made possible thanks to the generous financial support of NSDAR donors.
(Duration: about 60 minutes)

Portable Education Program (PEP)

The Museum offers to U.S. educators three Portable Education Programs about Colonial America life for fourth grade classrooms. Each PEP focuses on two aspects of 18th century life that both students and teachers explore through hands-on object-based learning. The topics are: Food and Clothing, Money and Jobs, and School and Play. Find out more.