First Grade Radial Design


After creating a mandala at Art Walk, I knew it would be fun to do it with my students. I tried it with first grade. While it was a windy, hot, crazy weather day with chatty students we got these finished and they looked good.

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I searched locally for templates I could use with my students but found nothing. When I found mandala templates or cake patterns online, they started at $12. Instead, the kids used pattern blocks dipped in white paint. I thought I had some donated doilies but could not find them this a.m. so we used blocks instead.

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We talked about radial symmetry, pattern and warm and cool colors. Student added 10-12 dots of paint onto their paper.  I did help a few of them by squeezing out paint to speed along that process.

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Then they folded their paper diagonally, opened it, folded it to the opposite diagonal corner, opened it, then horizontal fold and open and the opposite way fold and open. Perfection is not necessary. It can be messy, imperfect and a little squished as long as the paper doesn’t tear. It all adds to the uniqueness of the final image.

There were lots of oohs and aahs as they discovered how the colors mixed and blended. They were allowed 3 paintings. 1 cool, 1 warm and 1 free choice.

Once complete, they could print additional patterns with the pattern blocks and white paint or little plastic cups that I had in my cabinets.

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