In this lesson plan, students learn about the history of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, discussing its purpose and impact. Students then create paper “quilt panels” for either themselves or loved ones to better understand how the NAMES Project is used to represent and honor people. Afterwards, students collectively reflect on the grieving process. They may engage in an extension activity, where they assemble their panels into a community quilt.
This lesson allows students to critically examine the political countermovement that sought to disenfranchise the LGBTQ+ community, beginning with the 1970s efforts to repeal the United States’ early anti-discrimination ordinances protecting gay men and lesbians.