Algebra 1 students use math concepts to create Freedom Quilt patches


In honor of Black History Month, Ms. Benjamin’s Algebra 1 class used Desmos, an online platform, to design and create Freedom Quilt patches like the ones used along the Underground Railroad.

The students figured out the correct mathematical equations to “draw” the pictures for their quilt patches, along with the correct domain and/or range. To complete this project, they learned and applied functions, domain, range, symmetry, transformations, linear equations, quadratic equations and other equations beyond the scope of the Algebra 1 curriculum. 

In addition to the above mathematical concepts, the students learned how the Freedom Quilts were used along the Underground Railroad to aid enslaved African Americans escaping to free states. A safe house along the Underground Railroad was often indicated by a quilt hanging from a clothesline or windowsill. These quilts were embedded with a code that communicated messages to the enslaved person.