Marker Mandalas (4th)

In previous years I created mandala prints with my 4th graders to teach them about radial symmetry, but this year I wanted to try having them draw them (for their Square 1 Art project). So to begin this lesson I showed students the following video clip to give them some background on what a mandala is (we watch to 2:20).

After watching the first video clip I switch to the following video which shows Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala (something that was referred to in the first video). We watch the first few minutes.. then I fast forward through some of the middle part and we eventually end with the monks sweeping up their artwork and bringing it out to a body of water to dump it.
My students LOVE this video! The fact that the artwork is created by slowly pouring sand BLOWS. THEM. AWAY. 
But the biggest reaction I get is when the monks start sweeping up their artwork - "NOOOOO! WHAT ARE THEY DOING?!?!"

Next I quickly show my students a PowerPoint showing the differences between linear symmetry and radial symmetry. Once that is done I demo how we are going to create our own mandalas (sorry guys - not with sand).

To better explain the process I created this video and visual:
Once students were done drawing their pencil lines, I had them trace over their lines with sharpie. Then they used markers to color them in. 
*I typically do not use markers.. but it works well for Square 1 Art.
Their results are beautiful!


  1. Did you have any kiddos laughing at the sounds they were making during the sand one? I have REALLY immature group of 3rd graders (whose focus is world cultures) and this video is great! I know even with a discussion about respect of other cultures before hand I will still have immature kids laugh or make comments or mimic. Anything come up like that for you?

    1. YES. I've run into that issue nearly every time I've taught this.
      I usually just keep the sound really low now.

  2. For the Square 1 project did you use the paper they provide or did you do the mandalas on a separate piece and then affix to the Square 1 paper? Thanks!