Mandalas are geometric patterns starting from a central dot, working outward in repetitive patterns integrating symbols and vibrant colors. A circle or a spiral within a circle is a universal pattern full of symbolic meaning and often very helpful in releasing stress in people of all ages.
After doing some research I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are lesson plans and information on not only why teachers teach about mandalas but, how to do it! For the secondary levels I even found professional lesson plans that includes pictures of beautiful mandalas that are on display at the Denver Art Museum. One of them is absolutely stunning, filled with amazing shapes and vibrant colors. It is “Hayagriva Sand Mandala” created by the Monks from Seraje Monastery in India. These images and lesson plans are free if you use them in your classroom. They also have short video clips you can use to explain and show your students how to do the mandalas. The link is http://creativity.denverartmuesuem.org. There is also a site called Creativity for teachers and under the blog archive they have a blog titled The Goal in the Mandala.
One of my favorite websites for children is http://www.art-is-fun.com. It is filled with exercises and ideas including “how to draw a mandala” for kids of all ages.
I found another great website www.mandalascoloringmeditation.com that gives away a mandala coloring kit Mandalas Of Joy for Children. All the mandalas are free and you can print them out for your personal use or for your classroom. There are 248 coloring books of mandalas for children and teachers at www.hellokids.com. This is a great resource for teachers. It also has Math and English exercises for all ages that are free. There are also YouTubes called simple mandalas for kids with step by step instructions for people.
Recent research has shown that coloring releases stress for people of all ages and there are coloring books for adults to use as a tool to help them manage stress. I believe it is also a very important tool for kids to release pent up anger or stress that are dealing with in this chaotic modern life.
I look forward to your thoughts either here or on twitter or Facebook. Cheers, Patricia