Easel by TpT

Back to School Personal Mandala, hands-on activity, icebreaker

Grade Levels
7th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
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  1. Back to school time can be both exciting and stressful. These 4 back to school activities let students have fun while creatively sharing information about themselves. Students can play Jenga, complete one-pagers, build with LEGOS and sculpt with modeling clay, and create a personal mandala using pat
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Students use pattern blocks to create a personal mandala. Perfect icebreaker for back to school!

What is a mandala? The word “mandala” is Sanskrit for circle. It means, “a geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.” The second definition is, “a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer's search for completeness and self-unity.” Mandalas have significant meaning, often on more than one level.

This challenging and creative activity asks students to represent aspects of their personality through symbolic means by asking them to create a mandala with pattern blocks. The mandala design, block shape choices, and even color choices can represent their accomplishments, challenges, decisions, motivations, and much more.

This is a totally unique activity! What a great way to add a hands-on, artistic, creative element to the students' first days back to school!

You will need to supply pattern blocks. Pattern blocks are a common math manipulative. You can buy these through a well-known online retailer for about $15 for 250 blocks. Or you can ask your favorite math teacher to borrow theirs. *If you use this activity as part of a learning or literacy center, it's possible to limit the number of students working on the mandala activity at one time, thus reducing the number of pattern blocks needed.

Here's what you get:

  • Detailed teacher instructions including scaffolding suggestions
  • Detailed student instructions
  • Color sample mandala design
  • Brainstorming chart
  • Pattern block chart to record block symbolism
  • *Note: I did not supply a rubric for this creative activity. This is in accordance with my educational philosophy as listed in my profile. Sometimes it's good to just let the students create and learn just for education's sake.

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Keywords: projects, back to school, icebreaker, hands-on, mandala, personalities, motivation, journey, ELA, English, critical thinking, manipulatives, designs, literacy centers, learning centers, artistic, creative

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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