School Mandala

School Mandala lesson plan

School can seem like a world of its own! Represent your school in a symmetrical mandala, and create new colors with this colored pencil layering technique!

  • 1.

    A mandala is a sacred symbol of Buddhist culture. Mandalas are symmetrical, geometric designs that are said to represent the universe. In traditional Buddhist art, a mandala is based on scriptures and designed by monks after many years of study and memorization.

  • 2.

    Explore several examples of mandalas with your class. What similarities can you find among them? What colors are prominent? Predict what the symbols and colors represent. Working in groups, research the most common symbolism in Buddhist mandalas.

  • 3.

    Think about daily life in your school. How would you represent it as a mandala? What symbols can you design to signify the features and events in your school? What colors have meaning to your school? Draw a few symbols on the board with your class as examples. Refer back to these for inspiration as you work.

  • 4.

    To design a mandala of your school, start by drawing a small circle in the center of a square piece of white paper using Crayola® Colored Pencils. Enclose that circle with a square about half the size of the paper. Surround both those shapes with a larger circle that almost touches the edges of the paper. Now fill the mandala with symbols and shapes that represent your school! Think of the activities you enjoy, the subjects you learn, and the structure of the building for ideas. Remember that mandalas are symmetrical in design!

  • 5.

    Add bright, bold colors to the designs you’ve drawn! For an interesting effect, layer two colors of the Colored Pencils together to create a new hue! What combinations can you make?

  • 6.

    Mount your completed mandala on a sheet of colored paper that compliments the artwork. Display for the class to enjoy!


  • Students explore the art of the mandala, an important art form in Buddhist culture.
  • Students compare several examples of mandalas and identify similarities among them.
  • Students research common symbolism present in Buddhist mandalas.
  • Students design an original mandala based on their school, and represent features of the school symbolically.
  • Students are challenged to create a symmetrical design.


  • Draw on your hands! Trace your hand on a sheet of heavy paper, and carefully cut out the shape. With Crayola Colored Pencils or Classic Markers, decorate your hand cut-out with detailed Mehndi designs, traditional body art seen in Indian cultures during i
  • Work in groups as the monks do to create a large mandala. Gather in groups of four, each drawing a quadrant of the mandala. Remember to plan ahead to ensure that the design is symmetrical!
  • Share your mandala with the class. Discuss the symbols and colors in each mandala. Did students come up with similar school symbols? Are the mandala designs symmetrical?