Groovy Geometry + Making Mandalas = Math MASTERPIECES !

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will learn the history of a MANDALA, a circular shape containing designs made of geometric shapes, shapes found in nature, parallel and perpendicular lines, and various designs.  

In ancient cultures, looking closely at mandalas and/or creating them was used as a way to relax, settle one's mind, meditate, and feel calm...and this is STILL the case. No wonder some of the world's most beautiful cathedrals have huge stained glass windows picturing gigantic mandalas, as people come and sit quietly for prayer or meditation time before services.  Today, it is no different - many people who enjoy artwork and/or doodling can warm up their brains, calm down their stress, and release tension by focusing for a while on the drawing of a simple mandala pattern.

The use of mandalas originated hundreds of years ago in  India and surrounding middle eastern regions.   These cultures felt that a mandala represented the cosmos or UNIVERSE ,but in common usage nowadays, the mandala has become a generic term for any circular [ mandala means  "circle" in the Sanskrit language] design that utilizes geometric and  assorted shapes, lines, and designs in an organized, symmetrical, and extremely intricate patterns. Later on, Tibetan monks began to blend in square shapes to contain the mandala pattern [as is shown in an attached video].

We will delve into creative artwork possibilities by reviewing geometric figures, line patterns, and commonly used shapes. Enjoy the relaxation and absorption into quiet creative time as you draw your own mandala!

Multiple days
Lesson Type
1:1 Lesson

Essential Question

Students will learn to draw TWO TYPES of mandalas...1) "freestyle", which begins at the center, and by drawing shapes free-handed, measuring only by estimating, it grows outward symmetrically,  becoming  larger and more elaborate   and 2) a SYMMETRICAL mandala, which will be "framed" first by measuring CONCENTRIC CIRCLES, utilizing measurement tools, & then filling in these circles with geometric shapes, parallel & perpendicular lines, designs, and the concept of symmetry as they enjoy drawing and possibly coloring a mandala. Math is combined with artwork, and also with the history of a concept that originated in ancient India and the Middle East. 



Other Instructional Materials or Notes:


The student will need :
-a flat surface, desk or table, on which to place a drawing pad when mandala art designing begins.
-a drawing pad with unlined paper- can range from 6-8" square and up
-a thin-tipped black marker, or medium tipped black marker
-colored markers, if desired
-MATH TOOLS - ruler, protractor, compass  (if possible), pencil, eraser

                             TIME  ALLOWANCE ( suggested)
-The student will need at least 10 -15 minutes to complete the FREE-HAND MANDALA
-The student will need at least 30 - 45 minutes or more to complete the "MATH-MEASURED MANTRA."

[The relaxing aspect of either mantra is allowing enough time to be absorbed into the activity with NO RUSHING...enjoy!!]

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Lesson Created By: katherinebradley