Today was a gold-star day in the neighborhood.
Why? Our class successfully began our Mandala learning activity! The activity went as follows:
1) Discuss the three-part project (book, individual mandalas, group mandala).
2) Look at pictures from a book (title to be edited in); students guess what is happening in the pictures documenting the creation of a sand mandala (the students were really observant and asked great questions - I am proud of them).
3) Students finish simple mandala templates begun by the teacher (connect lines to make a square within the circle, connect corners to create the compass directions with a Western orientation, label N, S, E, W).
4) Students paint one mandala segment at a time; students carefully sprinkle on colored sand one segment at a time. Students refrain from pouring sand off into the all-colors bowl until they are completely finished covering the whole circle with colors.
5) Students have a completed basic example of a mandala. Although gluing the sand down does not convey the idea of transience, the overall image will be used in the following days as a teaching tool. The final mandala will be a cookie decorated with colored sprinkles and eaten as a class. That mandala will be created with more attention to a class-created ritual, to wholes making a larger whole and then being returned to nothingness, to symbolism, and to team work. More details as the project continues!