Lesson Plan

String Art Mandala

Exploring and Creating Works of Art
Lisa M.
Teaching assistant
Stough Elementary School
Raleigh, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Arts

After this lesson, students will have a better understanding of the history of mandalas and the symbolic importance of their key components.  Students will explore how math and art coincide to create these works of art.  Finally, students will organize, plan and fabricate their own mandala using string art techniques.

This lesson covers math and art standards.

Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Understanding

Direct students to the Arts Edge page about Mandalas. There is a video link that will take you outside of the Arts Edge site.  

Here is a link to an additional video that provides more information on mandalas and how they are created - Sand Mandala Time Lapse.

This is a great time to go over some vocabulary such as symmetry, pictoral, abstract, polygon, etc. 

The ArtsEdge site has a great deal of content for students of all ages and includes lessons and additional resources for both students and teachers.  

Student Instructions

Review the videos provided about sand mandalas.  

What are your thoughts about how they are created?  

What do you think they represent?

2 Analyze

Have students use their knowledge of symmetry and shapes to create a layout for their own mandala.  This will take time to organize and plan.  

You can provide students with specific parameters such as what shapes to use and/or how many they can use of each.  Or let students create their own design to see what they come up with.  

Student Instructions

Its time to create your version of a mandala.  Using ShapeLab, you will use various shapes to organize and plan out a final design.  This design will be recreated using materials other than sand, so keep it simple, but interesting.


3 Create

Show students some examples of string art.  Have a quick discussion on how to these can be created and what materials are used.  I've included some YouTube links to show various designs and how they were created.

Instead of using nails, students can use push pins, screws or something similar.  

Student Instructions

Students should have an idea of what their layout will be for their mandala.  At this time, students will choose their color schemes and get to work.

4 Sharing/Collaboration

Teachers should have a class account set up for Voice Thread for the final portion of the assignment.  

A quick demo of how VoiceThread works and how students can collaborate to provide feedback to their peers, would be beneficial.

Student Instructions

Students will create an account on VoiceThread and link to the teacher "class".  Each student will photograph their final string art piece and upload it to VoiceThread.  For each piece, the artist will record an artist statement that will include: their inspiration, why they chose the colors they did, likes/dislikes about the project, etc. 

Once uploaded and recorded, each student will be assigned to 3 of their peers.  Each student will be responsible for providing constructive criticism to these 3 classmates by leaving comments on VoiceThread.