Elementary Art Lesson - Mirror Imaging Symmetry

Mirror Imaging Symmetry

Submitted by: Stormey Kasser
Title of Lesson: Mirror Imaging Symmetry
Grade level: Fourth Grade


Goals / Objectives:

Students will learn and apply the basic fundamentals of radial symmetry as they create an original mandala with white paper and colored pencils. They will incorporate math concepts such as fractional parts, measurement, and symmetry as they complete their projects.


The goal is for the student to acquire basic knowledge, skills and experience with symmetrical design as they incorporate mathematical skills in the creation of original products.

  1. The student will produce an original mandala.

  2. The student will incorporate measurement skills in producing his project.

  3. The student will incorporate geometricunderstandings and skills in producing his project.

  4. The student will incorporate transformational understandings to properly produce his project.

  5. sample

    The student will associate concrete ideas with appropriate vocabulary.

Materials Needed:

Each child will need:

Download the Word Version of this Lesson doc


Book: Coloring Mandalas 1. (See also volume 2.) - The forty-eight drawings presented here for coloring include designs inspired by forms of nature, Native American and Tibetan sand paintings, Hindu yantras, Turkish mosaics, the illuminations of Hildegarde of Bingen, and the art of M.C. Escher. These mandalas are organized according to the Great Round of Mandala, a scheme of twelve archetypal stages that represents a complete cycle of personal growth.


Book: Creating Mandalas: For Insight, Healing, and Self-Expression. - Susanne Fincher introduces here the history and ritual use of mandalas in cultures all over the world. She then shows you how to make your own, offering guidance on choosing art materials and techniques.


Lesson Description:

Art Elements and Art Principles of Art Design: line, form, pattern, unity


Vocabulary Terms:

Symmetry: If a line is drawn through the middle of an object, both sides are exactly the same.
Reflection: A mirror image.
Line – a dot that moves out into space
Form- the shape of something
Unity: All the parts work together to make the whole.
Pattern: A decorative design



Set up: Place supply baskets with enough materials for each group or table in designated supply area.

  1. Whole class discussion of concept of mandalas and radial design, describing process and procedures as well as incorporating vocabulary words (Written on board in advance)

  2. Preview project and instructions with class. Show examples, quickly model process for visual learners.

  3. Helpers pass out table supply baskets.

  4. Students will first lay one sheet of copy paper landscape style. Fold lower right corner up to meet the top, crease the diagonal formed. Repeat with black construction paper. Cut off excess, leaving one white and one black square.

  5. Fold both sheets, joining opposite corners and creasing again. When opened, an X should appear. The intersection is the center of the paper.

  6. For both papers, set Compasses. to 4.25, place point on intersection, and create circle.

  7. Carefully cut circle from center of black paper. (This will create a frame for project.)

  8. Fold white paper with circle in half, then half again, and half again. Open out to find 8 equivalent sections of the circle.

  9. Students will draw design in one section, making sure that design reaches to folds on each side in some places. Design can be something personal, something from nature, historical, etc.

  10. Place circle on window with Sticky Tack. and then place second piece of white paper over it. Trace the section and the design.

  11. Switch positions of papers now. Line up the outline of the section with the next section on the circle. Trace the pattern. Rotate the circle to line up next section and trace. Repeat until all eight sections are filled.

  12. Using colored pencils, color each section exactly the same. (If students are able, try mixing colors.)

  13. Using glue stick place glue on the margins of the white paper, align with the circle cut out of the black paper, and place the black paper on top, creating a frame for the student's project.

  14. Display student work.


Mandala lessons on IAD:

Assessment(s): Grading Rubric:




National Visual Arts Standards Covered:

Visual Arts Standards 1, 2, 3, & 6

Art 4.1A, 4.1B, 4.2B
Math 4.2A, 4.9A, 4.9B, 4.9C, 4.11A



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