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Re: Mandala project for 5th graders...circle of light - Hands

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Aug 29 2004 - 15:47:35 PDT


I do have some images of Tibetan monks doing a sand mandala to show
them. What was the image that they made when they did the one you saw?

Tell me if you think I'm thinking this through right. I thought I would
first introduce the Tibetan Monks mandalas, talk about medicine wheels,
rose windows, other circular art. Then I would talk about the ideas
that some people have about mandalas, how people have fallen into makng
them without even knowing what they were at times. I thought I would
also talk a bit about master artists,musicians, etc. believing that
their most genius work happens when they just let the work flow through
them. Ask kids if they have ever tried too hard to make something
happen, the need to be "open." We've talked about that before. They
know what I mean about trying too hard. Fred Babb has a poster that is
up in my room that says, "If you get out of the way, the art will make
itself." SO TRUE!
I thought I would then show them some of the hand mandalas that are in
the Mandala book. Talk about the exercise, have them draw their
hands/arms on 17 inch square paper with a large compass, or I will make
some big templates they can trace around. I'd demonstrate the
"illuminating" technique with the white pencils and the exercise to
learn how to ease off the pressure gradually with the pencil. Then, I
would read them the blessing, which I have rewritten to just say the
words God, higher power, or light, depending on what suits them. I took
out the mention of Jesus and Buddha. I also simplified some of the
language a bit. I am not worried in my school about doing this
blessing. We have chapel each week where we say the Lords Prayer, and a
large portion of our kids are not Christian! I can surely do this. We
also celebrate major holidays for our other religions in our weekly
chapel service. I'll tell them that this is purely in the vein of
education about other cultures and a very special art form. Period. I
was thinking about playing Carlos Nikai, Native American Flute music. I
was curious to know what other music you played.

Linda Woods

Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School

www.sjs.org
 click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.

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