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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Henna and Mehndi pattern study

Created on January 27, 2020 by MrDigger

Students study the element of pattern and then apply it through the creation of traditional Mehndi henna tattoos.

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2 sessions; 60 minutes per session

Students will understand the concept of pattern

Students will be able to research traditional Mehndi henna patterns and why they are used

Parent permission form - adminstrative permission (henna tattoos last up to one month - both of the above are extremely important)

Henna Recipe: 1/2 cup henna powder, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3 tsp podered sugar, 3 tsp eucalyptus (or similar) oil - can be scaled up to fit need

Pastry bags or other means of drawing with the henna paste (we used slip trailers)

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

I've wanted to try this project for awhile but was always leary of being able to control it. This semester I had a student teacher so I had an extra set of eyes and hands in the classroom.

Students spent the week studying pattern as it relates to art looking at everything from Islamic tiles, Mehndi patterns to contemporary artists like Romero Britto.

This was a 'fun' extra activity and not done for a grade. Students had a choice on whether or not they wanted to participate.

I demonstrated on my own hands how to apply the henna paste and emphasized that the longer they left the paste on, the darker the resulting 'tattoo' would be.

Teacher walked around the room and assisted students with the application of henna as needed.

As stated, I did not do this for a grade but you could easily have students pre plan their designs on a hand template or a tracing of their hand and then grade those pre plan designs. Grading the actuall tattoos is difficult because traditional henna takes time to learn so student tattoos may be simple and crude through no fault of their own.

Many resources for traditional Mehndi can be found online.

Henna paste should be made at least 24 hours in advance to give it time to activate the tannins in the henna.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[9-12 Proficient] Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
[9-12 Proficient] Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks
[9-12 Advanced] Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
[9-12 Advanced] Students communicate ideas regularly at a high level of effectiveness in at least one visual arts medium

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[9-12 Proficient] Students evaluate the effectiveness of artworks in terms of organizational structures and functions
[9-12 Proficient] Students demonstrate the ability to form and defend judgments about the characteristics and structures to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art
[9-12 Proficient] Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[9-12 Proficient] Students reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to history and culture
[9-12 Proficient] Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[9-12 Proficient] Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art
[9-12 Proficient] Students describe the function and explore the meaning of specific art objects within varied cultures, times, and places

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[9-12 Proficient] Students reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and evaluating works of visual art

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[9-12 Proficient] Students compare the materials, technologies, media, and processes of the visual arts with those of other arts disciplines as they are used in creation and types of analysis

Ancient Near Eastern Art, Asian Art, Islamic Art

Line, Rhythm/Pattern, Unity/Harmony