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I draw a circle on an 8 1/2 x 11 paper that fits within the boundaries so it
can be copied easily (is anyone here as appreciative of copiers as I am?).
Then I put tiny dots in the circle -- one in the center and space the dots an
inch apart N S E W to the edge. I tell the students they can use the dots or
ignore them. The dots are there to make dividing the circle easier. You can
also make dots in-between to divide it further. I keep my "master" so I can
make more copies of it.
Along with the circle design papers, I place markers, Prismacolors, colored
pencils, crayons, pencils, and erasers on the table. Depending on the
students and the kind of time you have, you can also put watercolors out. Or
pastels. I also have some finished examples to show them. They can make them
bilaterally symmetrical, use radial symmetry, or make a picture or design that
will fit within the circle. If I want to go into this further, you can talk
about sand paintings of the American Indians or the Tibetan Buddhists, rose
windows -- on and on and on.
I tell them to begin drawing their design lightly with pencil and when they
get them the way they want them, they can begin the color.
When they finish I have them put their name and class code on the back of the
circle and I take them to be laminated. Crayons look especially good when
If the kids do one very fast, they usually spend much more time on the second
one. I try to have a lot of blanks for them to use. Many times they request
blanks to take home and work on. I do teach elementary artistically gifted,
but I think this would work, perhaps with some modifications, with any age and
Garland, TX, where it's cold and rainy and nasty outside today. But inside,
it's warm and toasty and delicious smells are drifting through my house and
I'm very happy to be on vacation!