a Group Mandala:
Teaching Unity, not Uniformity
Community Quilt Mandala was created by three 5th grade classes
at Mt. Erie Elementary School in Anacortes, Washington,
USA. This collective art project is a "warm up"
exercise used in Mandala Project workshops to introduce
students to the idea of joining with others to create something
beautiful, as well as practice coloring techniques and color
theory. It is a wonderful example of art that is created
from a central theme, in which artists maintain their individuality
while unifying to create something larger than themselves.
title of the quilt is "Unity, not Uniformity."
the general presentation of the mandala, students participated
in a "warm-up" exercise by coloring in 4" mandalas
of various designs, all of which are symmetrical and kaleidoscopic
mandalas were cut in half, then one half was passed to the
student on their right, so that each student had half of their
own mandala, and half of another's mandala.
then created a "new" mandala using both halves.
Each half was cut into four pie pieces (eight total) and pasted
alternately onto a piece of colored construction paper of
finished mandalas were collected along with strips of paper
with each student's name. Sometimes I take the pieces home
to create the quilt myself, then return to surprise the students
with the creation. Some classes like to participate in the
quilt creation process themselves - either way, it's a fun
project for everyone involved.
project can also be adapted for use in younger classes by
creating more simplified quartered mandalas instead of eighths.
It is a variation on the Friendship Mandala described in:
Journey to the Center.
The Lesson Plan for this project is available
for purchase at mandalacreativity.com
where you will find other mandala lesson plans and products