Make your own traced leaf mandala using the natural elements you find outside your home!
Grade Range (suggested) grades 3-5
- A leaf from outside or other natural material
- Plate or large circle template
- Markers, colored pencils, water color, or crayons
- Black marker or pen for outlining
- Blank white paper
- Video: How to Make a Leaf Mandala
- The change of season is a time to appreciate the nature around us. Ask students what is their favorite part of spring or summer? What do you notice outside when the seasons change and the weather becomes warmer?
Prepare to Explore
- Explain that today we will spend some time creating nature-inspired art! We will be making a traced leaf mandala.
- Invite students to find a place outside their home to collect a few leaves for their art as their inspiration. (Other possible examples include: flowers, small sticks, or rocks) After gathering your leaves, come back inside to start your mandala.
- Ask students to describe the collection of objects they collected from outside. What do you notice about your objects? (Ex: how they feel, size, type, classification)
- Start by tracing a circle shape onto your paper using a plate or other circle shape as a template.
- Choose a leaf from your collection (or other natural item) and trace (or draw) on the page within your circle shape. Trace it several more times, overlapping as you go.
- Go back over your lines with a black marker or pen if you want them to stand out more. Fill in the different areas with colors using crayons, colored pencils, or watercolor paint.. Be as colorful and creative as you can!
- Fill in the entirety of the inside of the circle to develop your art piece.
Reflect & Share
- Share your mandala art piece! You can create a frame and hang it up or hang it in front of a window as a colorful sun catcher.
Extensions & Variations
- Fill in the different areas with patterns and designs instead of color
- Do a rubbing of your different natural materials and develop a picture from them
- Create an art collage using the different natural materials from your collection
- Other natural items ideas you can try: flowers, bark, shells, rocks, acorns
Click through to page 2 to access this activity writeup in Spanish.