Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rangoli Drawings

This year the focus for Cultural Heritage Week in my district has been India. Each art student in the district, K-12, has made artwork inspired by the culture of India. My K-3rd grade students each had a set assignment and the 4th-6th grade students had multiple starting points from which to branch out and choose a direction. 
3rd grade students learned about rangoli, which are created during Diwali celebrations. You can find the lesson plan on the smARTteacher, but I'll go ahead and post the basics below.
Start with square construction paper. I cut down 9x12 inch paper to 9 inch squares. I went ahead and chopped the scraps into 1 inch strips that will be used for paper weaving.
Trace a circle in the center of the paper. We used big cans from the lunch room. Place a dot in the center of the circle and 6 or 8 dots evenly spaced around the perimeter.
Next, students create radial designs. I describe it to them as making a pizza where each slice is the same. After the designs are planned in pencil, students add color with construction paper crayons or color sticks.  True rangoli are usually created by drawing with sprinkled powder or paste onto the ground. I wanted students to be able to get part of that experience so after they finished coloring, students had the option of tracing part of their designs with glue and sprinkling sand over the top.
 Only one or two students decided not to add sand. Sand is always a big hit!
We loved how this project turned out. India is such a colorful culture and the students have been so excited to learn about it.


  1. Hi Katie,
    Rangolis (otherwise known as Kolams) are a beautiful art form I saw on a daily basis while living for four years in South India. Every morning, omen form these radial designs in front of their homes, temples, and some businesses using rice flour. For special events, colored powder and sometimes even dried flour petals are used, accented by oil or ghee lamps. I have documented the process on a video

  2. Every morning all year, or every morning of Diwali? I will check out your video. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautiful. They did a fabulous job!