This sub didn't quite follow my directions on other lessons, but mandalas seem to always get great results, no matter what. So, I'm going to share a little bit about this sub lesson for anyone else who would like to use it. The substitute teacher gets white paper for the students (8 1/2 by 8 1/2; just copy paper cut to a sqaure), and three images of mandalas, and three how-to-draw posters of mandalas:
Here is the lesson I leave for the sub:
4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Sub Lesson: Mandalas
1. Greet students at the door, and have them sit in their assigned seats (see my seating chart in the black binder.)
2. Pin the 3 color photos of mandalas to the chalkboard with magnets. I have a collection of magnets on the top of the chalkboard.
3. Write the word “mandala” on the board.
4. Tell the students:
a. A mandala (muhn-dl-uh) is an Indian word for circle. Indian circle designs like these are called mandalas. You may want to clarify that this is Indian as in from India, not Native American. (There are 22 official languages in India; this is Sanskrit. Mention this only if the students ask)
b. Mandalas have radial symmetry. (Write “radial symmetry” on the board.)
c. Ask the students what “symmetry” means. They should say that something is the same on both sides; that one side is the mirror image of the other, or something similar.)
d. Tell the students that “radial” means it’s like a circle. Ask them, “how do you think radial symmetry is different from regular symmetry?” After taking a few guesses or answers (until someone gets it right, or until enough students have answered that you don’t think they’ll get it right) explain that radial symmetry means that each section of the circle is the same, all the way around. Instead of having one line of symmetry down the middle, you have identical sections, like pie slices, all the way around! The students may note that there are actually many lines of symmetry; they may also relate the word radial to the radius of a circle.
e. Ask for ideas of things that have radial symmetry. Help the students along with ideas like a bicycle wheel, an apple pie, a snowflake, a daisy, a star, etc.
5. Next, pin up the “how to draw it” mandala posters on the chalkboard with magnets. You can put one on the cabinets over the sinks so they all fit, or one on the bulletin board to the left of the chalkboard. Show the students how they start with something simple, like a swirl, a star, or a flower. Then they add something simple, like a curved line, a swirl, or a loop to each section all the way around. By repeating the same thing all the way around, the design becomes very fancy!
6. Place the square paper on the supply table, and open the lid of the marker box. Tell the students that when you call their row, they will come up to the supply table and get a square paper, and a few markers.
7. Tell the students to write their name and class code on the back of their paper with their pencil.
8. Tell the students to flip their paper over, so their name is on the back, and make a simple swirl, circle, flower, star, etc. on the middle of their paper.
9. Then, the students will add a design all the way around. They may look at the “how to” posters for ideas, but they may not copy them exactly! Theirs must be unique. Tell them they can take ideas they like from each “how to” but their finished mandala must not look just like mine.
10. Monitor student work, and encourage them J. If someone has a good idea, complement them!
11. Students may ask, “is this for a grade?” The answer is YES!
12. If students misbehave, please take their names down, and tell them that they will lose a point on the project for each time you write their name down. Please warn them before you write them down (i.e. “Johnny, you are being way too loud. If I have to tell you to quiet down again, I’ll write your name down.”)
13. If a student finishes early, tell them to make another one that is more complicated.
14. When there are 10 minutes of class left, warn the students that they have 5 minutes left before clean-up time.
15. When there are 5 minutes of class left, tell the students to put their artwork on shelf 4 (for 4th grade), shelf 5 (for 5th grade), or shelf 6 (for 6th grade), put the markers away, and quietly find their seats.
16. Once everyone is seated, pick the quietest row to line up first. Their teacher will pick them up at the door.
And lastly, I'd like to include the PDF's of the "how to" posters that I drew, but I don't know if there is a way to make a PDF attachment on blogger, or a way to convert PDF's to images so I can just post them all here. Any ideas?