Lesson plan

Shape Mandalas

Stretch student understanding of patterns, shapes, and symmetry with this fun mandala art project!
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Students will learn to use shapes and colors to make pattenrs. After, they will discuss their work with others using constructive feedback.

This art lesson corresponds to California Visual and Performing Arts Standards:

  • 2.1 Use lines, shapes/forms, and colors to make patterns.
  • 2.6 Use geometric shapes/forms (circle, rectangle, triangle, square) in a work of art.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today we will make an art project called a mandala. A mandala is a symmetrical circular design.
  • Briefly discuss or review symmetry with students, meaning: a mirrored image across an axis (or line of symmetry). Examples of symmetry along a vertical axis include: our bodies, our face, a circle or triangle.
(10 minutes)
  • Place your plate under document camera. Write your name on the back.
  • Hold up each shape separately. Ask students to turn to their partner/table groups to whisper the name of the shape and how they know. Ask students to share with the class.
  • Show students mandala examples while pointing out symmetry.
  • Tell students that before they use any glue, they should arrange the shapes on their plates and make sure they are symmetrical.
  • Using the document camera, start arranging shapes on your paper plate, starting at the center and radiating outwards. Ask for student input for shape and pattern choices. Explain that 'pattern' means how things are arranged.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out paper shapes. Ask students to write their names on the back of their plates.
  • Using the document camera, demonstrate gluing your shapes pattern down.
(20 minutes)
  • Instruct students to begin developing their pattern without glue.
  • When students have completed their patterns, instruct them to begin gluing.
  • Walk around the room observing student progress.

Support: Students having difficulty with symmetry may need help identifying the center of the plate. You may need to mark a dot in the middle.

Enrichment: Encourage students to aim for multiple lines of symmetry on their mandalas.

This lesson can be completed without the use of technology; however, technology such as a document camera can be useful in demonstrating the process of pattern making and symmetry.

(5 minutes)
  • Review student work as you walk around the room: Did students use patterns and symmetry?
(10 minutes)
  • Gallery Walk: Ask students to place their work on their desks and stand up. Instruct students to walk in one direction, slowly around the room. Instruct students not to talk during this time.
  • Come back together as a class. Ask students: What pattern was your favorite? Which art project mandala contains the most shapes?

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