I teach in a Makerspace in Oakland, CA for grades K-5. Lately, we've been making our own Mandala coloring pages, and it's extremely easy and satisfying. It's also fun for students to make these coloring pages for each other. Eventually, I want to turn a collection of student-made coloring pages into a school coloring book and sell it as a fundraiser for our school. I've done this project with 2nd and 3rd graders, but it could easily work with older and younger students, too.
Compass, pencil, ruler, ultra-fine Sharpie (or some other fine black marker). Colorful markers to color in designs.
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Step 1: Circles and Guidelines
Using your compass, draw 3 or 4 concentric circles. If you don't have a compass, you can try tracing around objects (start with the largest object first; this helps you center your circles). You might also want to add lines across the diameter of the circle, as guidelines. I didn't do this with my students, but it might be helpful for some people. I've included pdfs of these templates. For the student samples I've posted here, I just gave the 2nd graders one solid circle, with a dot in the middle and had them create their own concentric circles. It was an opportunity to explain to them that "concentric circles share the same center."
Step 2: Adding Details
Next, add details to your circles in pencil. You can add any kind of line, shape or texture. I've included a pdf of a handout that I've given students with several examples. The only requirement is to continue the pattern around the circle. I model for the students making a mandala with no pattern, just and ask them what seems wrong to them. Then I ask them how to correct my work. I do a few examples on the board for them, using a variety of different details, just to give them a sense of how endless their options can be.
Step 3: Tracing Over the Pattern
Using your ultra-fine Sharpie, or another fine black marker, trace over your pattern and erase any extra pencil marks. That's it! You have your coloring page!
Step 4: Samples
Here are a few more samples from my 2nd-grade class. I love how each one is so unique. It's hard to believe that something so simple could be so engaging, satisfying and result in such a beautiful image. I hope you enjoy making mandalas with your students as much as I do.
Note: Because the instructions are so simple if you make copies of the "Detail ideas" page and the template, this can also work very well as a plan for a substitue.
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