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Middle [6th-8th] Lesson Plan

Personal Symbol Mandala

Created on February 17, 2013 by MrsAuld

Students brainstorm what makes them who they are and associate imagery to go with their ideas. All of these images are arranged within a radial design to create a dynamic and eye catching composition. A great way to demonstrate the elements of design as a culminating activity.

27 Keeps, 7 Likes, 1 Comments

6 sessions; 60 minutes per session

1. SWBAT associate images to the ideas on their mind map.
2. SWBAT draw a simple draft in their sketchbook.
3. SWBAT organize their images into a radial design.
4. SWBAT demonstrate the elements of design.
5. SWBAT utelize some aspect of traditional mandala design (mainly - outer shape & repeating pattern)

1. Pencil
2. Drawing Paper
3. Eraser
4. Coloured Pencil
5. Construction Paper
6. Scissors (if students are cutting them out to glue to another sheet)
7. Glue

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1. Create a mind map of all the things that make you YOU. Some categories to get you started: family decent, family members, places you have lived or traveled to, hobbies, favourites, accomplishments...etc
2. Draw a simple image to go with your ideas, ex. Windmill if family from Netherlands. I allow students to find resource images on the Internet if they need to.
3. Using pencil, draw a large circle on your draft paper, divide it into sections (like a mandala)
4. Sketch what your composition will look like. Using the inner, middle and outer layout. Remind students that the center of the circle is a focal point and should contain something special.
5. Using your draft, recreate your composition on a larger sheet of drawing paper.
6. Draw lightly so you can erase!
7. Using coloured pencils begin colouring your design. This is a good opportunity to show blending techniques and pencil pressure.
8. When complete students can cut out their design and glue onto another sheet of coloured paper for a backdrop.


This was a great assignment to get my students thinking about who they are and how what they choose to put on their mandala says a lot about their character.


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

[5-8] Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks
[5-8] Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks

Color/Value, Emphasis, Rhythm/Pattern, Space, Variety

Colored Pencil, Paper

Multicultural Studies


  • paintpeace 02/18/2013 at 02:17pm
    I'm always looking for Identity driven projects. This looks great.