Art Lesson Plan: Radial Name Design

Radial Name Design

Submitted by: Patti Caiola, Reynolds Elementary School in Toledo, OH
Unit: Design - Lettering
Lesson: Pinwheel Radial Name Designs
Grade Level: 6th

Time Needed: Two one-hour class periods



Using the concepts of radial design and balance, students will create a project that focuses on craftsmanship, lettering, promoting a positive self-image, and design elements.




Completed example on display, pre-cut white paper, set out colored pencils/sharpeners



Radial design, Point of symmetry, design, pattern, illusion, balance, rhythm, and lettering.

Radial Symmetry: symmetry of circular objects: symmetry in which something can be divided into two identical halves by a line or plane passing through a central point or axis at any angle.
- Encyclopedia Britannica: 2012 Deluxe.


1 2


Radial: running from center outward: spreading out from a common center like the spokes of a wheel - Encyclopedia Britannica: 2012 Deluxe.


ArtLex - Radial, radiate, and radial balance - Radial refers to anything of, relating to, or arranged like rays. Radial balance is any type of balance based on a circle with its design extending from its center. Your designs are balanced as they are equally spaced as they spiral from center.


Point of Symmetry - A special center point for certain kinds of symmetric figures or graphs. If a figure or graph can be rotated 180° about a point P and end up looking identical to the original, then P is a point of symmetry.


Artist/Period: Op Art

Objectives: Students will be able to...

  1. Recognize balance and radial symmetry

  2. Integrate good craftsmanship into a unique radial name design

  3. Demonstrate a positive self image through lettering design


  1. Our designs are going to be a radial design, much like the spokes of a bike wheel. The alternating of space with a word and space with a pattern is the rhythm of the design. Begin by passing around completed project examples. Discuss the vocabulary of design, radial design, pattern, balance and rhythm.

  2. Pass out 12" (30.5 cm) square white paper. Find the center of the paper (does not have to be exact)

  3. With a pencil, LIGHTLY draw three curved lines from the center of the paper to the right edge of the paper. One line near the top, one line that ends in the middle, and one line that ends toward the bottom.

  4. Turn paper once clockwise and repeat step number 4 LIGHTLY with a pencil. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until there are 3 lines going to every side of the paper. (12 lines total) Alternate approach: Use a compass and make arcs from center.

  5. Mark every other space LIGHTLY with a mark (x)

  6. In the empty spaces: Start small in the center working out to the wider edge left to right, write first name in one space, last name in next space. Letters must start from the center and go to the edge. Letters must touch both the top and bottom lines. Letters may be block or bubble type letters.

  7. There will be 4 spaces left for lettering after entering first and last name. These spaces should include positive adjectives about each student. What are they good at doing (math, science, sports, reading, musical instrument, cheerleader, crossing guard) or something they enjoy doing (singing, dancing, eating, baking, PS2) or the school they go to (Reynolds Rockets)

  8. Color in the words using solid colors for the letters and the backgrounds of each space. (One space has all blue letters and a solid orange background, next space has all yellow letters and a black background, etc)

  9. After coloring in all the letters and spaces of the letters, it is time to create the background as a swirl or concentric circles from the center outward. Use a specific pattern of radial colors to create a pattern that begins at the center and expands completely to the edges of the paper so there is no white showing.

  10. Clean Up: Approx 5-6 min.

Possible Adaptations: Markers for the lettering and pencils for the background, Crayons. for the letters and watercolor for the background.



COS: 6.2,1,3, and 6.3,4,6.

Did students follow project directions, complete objectives, give their best effort and follow posted classroom rules? 1=Outstanding, 2=Satisfactory, 3=Needs Improvement, ✓=Unsatisfactory

Evaluation after the lesson: Students were excited about the design of the project, but needed to be encouraged to find enough special words about themselves. In addition, they needed some guidance on bubble/block lettering techniques.



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