Teaching with Mandalas

What are Mandalas? 

In the Sanskrit language Mandala means "circle" or "a circle". Mandalas as an art form and in the K-12 teaching context are a circular representation of visual art. Mandalas may or may not have words. Often Mandalas have a meaning, but they could also simply be a symmetrical representation of art without any stated meaning or theme.   The popularity of Mandalas has grown to the level that you will often see Mandala coloring books at supermarkets and bookstores and some teachers have their students color in mandalas as part of student "free time". 

Mandala to color in.

A mandala to color in.

Teacher using mandalas as a "coloring in" activity.

While you will see other ideas for using mandalas in the classroom later on this page, the idea of simply coloring in mandalas is a very popular activity among teachers.

A more expansive use of Mandalas

At Teachtopia, we want to you to also think of Mandalas as more than coloring pages.  Mandalas could be used as a tool for students to create meaningful academic content.   The mandala acts as an artistic graphic organizer.  Uses for mandalas include, but are not limited to:

  • About Me Mandalas
  • Historical Event Mandalas
  • Biography Mandalas 
  • Book Report Mandalas
  • Point and Counterpoint Mandalas  

Students could create Mandalas with white paper plates (biodegradable non-waxed).  We like this idea because of the depth created by the raised circumference of the plate.  If you don't have paper plates or are looking for a non three dimensional activity, we  have created free printable Mandala templates that could be used with many of the mandala ideas above.

Template #1    
 A simple circle within a larger circle Mandala template.  

Template #2     
A mandala template with a circle within circle and lines for writing.