Sunday, March 9, 2014

Primary Color Mandalas with Kindergarten

A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol used in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the universe.  The basic design of a mandala is a square form with four "gates" and a circle center point.  Basically, the mandala represents the universe.

Kindergarteners are full of energy.  In the art room, they come in excited, bubbly, and barely able to sit in their chairs.  When I explain a bit about mandalas, I share how they are created with lots of patience, love, and care.  When I ask the little ones if they'd like to try and create their own with paint, they get super excited and try their best to sit still.

There are a few things I need to share about this project that correlate with the objectives.  First, I do not paint often with kindergarten because it can get incredibly messy in the blink of an eye.  Everything has to be timed and coordinated since I have classes of 25+ and I'm the only adult.  Their class time is 40 minutes.  Second, I stick with the primary colors because I'm not only trying to reinforce what the primary colors are, but since kindergarten painting can easily mix up (wether you watch the class or not), the paint will look less muddy.  Third, I'm repeating the word "patience" throughout the project.  The students want to rush through and splash the paint wherever they want, but when you repeat the mantra, they actually try to slow down their paintings and make them look nice.

Here's an image I share with the kiddos on how patient this man is creating his mandala out of sand!

-10.5" x 10.5" white paper
-12" x 12" red, yellow, and blue paper for frame (I glue the white and colored paper together to save a step and prevent extra materials from being passed out)
-Red, blue, and yellow tempura paint.
-Paper plates

Students will create their own primary color mandala, creating a center and designs on all four sides of the paper.

Students will demonstrate responsibility with materials while creating their painting projects.

I spend 5-7 minutes sharing images of mandalas and describing what the mandala is for.  Also, I review the steps for creating their paintings for the next 3 minutes.  Students will start with yellow painting, then move to using red, then blue.  To clean their brushes, they use the newspaper given to wipe their brush clean, saving splashes and messy water clean-ups. (First 10 minutes of class)

In the next 5 minutes, I pass out the paper with colored frames already glued on.  I put marker bowls on the tables for students to write their names on the backs.  While they are writing their names, I pass out newspaper for them to put under their projects, and paintbrushes.  When students show their names on the back and newspaper under their project, I place the paper plate with the three primary colors in the middle of the tables for students to share.

The next 20 minutes is paint time.  When students finish, they raise their hand.  I take the project and paintbrush, the student puts the newspaper in the garbage and takes a mandala coloring sheets (they use the markers previously placed on the tables to color).  I call this time my "weight watchers activity points" tie because I am moving around the room, and the students only get out of their seats to throw their newspaper away.

For the last 5 minutes of clean up, the paint is mostly done and put away, so students cap the markers, get in line, and we review what we learned!

Here's a few finished products from my students this year!

Looking for a mandala coloring sheet?  Here's a few images I've used from Google:

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