Created by Ashley Aseltine, David Osorio, and Jisoo Seo

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Curriculum – Patterning and Algebra; Visual Arts

Patterning and Algebra, Overall Expectation: describe and represent relationships in growing patterns; use variable in simple algebraic expressions and equations to describe relationships.

Visual Arts, D1. Creating and Presenting, apply the creative process to produce art works in a traditional two-dimensional forms, that communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts, demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms, styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.


To engage students in an activity that honours cultural contributions in math,  to communicate math ideas as a tool for understanding the world, and to create a growing numeric pattern using different operations.


  • 2 Sample Mandalas: one completed and one not completed
  • Sample growing pattern worksheet (see Appendix B)
  • Dice
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Pencil crayons
  • Calculator
  • Circle cut-outs
  • Pattern worksheet
Mandala divided into quadrants


  • Have students sit in a circle. Show them the mandala blanket and dish and ask questions such as: Do you know what this is? What do you see? This is called mandala. Do you know what that word means? What language is it?
  • Provide background information on mandala (see Appendix A)
  • Ask: Do you see any math involved in this? Talk about pattern. Divide the Mandala blanket into four quadrants and talk about the symmetry involved.


How to create your own pattern: 

  • Explain to students that they will make their very own mandala (show sample mandala). First, they will have to decide on the growing pattern rule.
  • Talk about growing patterns. Why is it a growing pattern in particular and not shrinking pattern or repetitive pattern?
  • Give an example of growing pattern rule.
  • Talk about the ―term numbers (also incorporate other math strands such as symmetry, congruency)
  • Use dice to roll the first term. Then apply the pattern rule to find other terms.
  • How can I express this pattern in an algebraic expression?

How to use the pattern to make your mandala:

  • Show the completed mandala
  • Talk about how the circle was divided into four quadrants and how each quadrant contains the respective term
  • Demonstrate the making of the mandala using the incomplete mandala


  • Students will work individually to create their own pattern and mandala. Teachers will facilitate students as help is needed.

Possible Extensions

  • Lessons on congruency, symmetry, and transformational geometry.
  • Delving deeper into the history of the mandala and elaborating on their designs.
Download the Mandala Lesson

*All appendices included in lesson plan