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Radial Balance: A Great Middle School Art Lesson Plan

written by: thatbluegirl • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 6/6/2012

Student's heads will be spinning as they gain an understanding about radial balance through tasks involving the use of symmetry, repetition, and design. They will love this one!

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    Radial Balance

    Requirements:

    In this radial design art lesson plan, students will create a composition depicting radial balance. Their design must have a radial point and an element of personal interest.

    Art Resources:

    • Pre-Columbian Mexico art
    • Notre Dame Rose windows
    • Aztec Calender
    • dishes
    • tires
    • flowers
    • fruit
    • architecture

    Art Materials:

    • markers
    • colored pencils
    • pencils
    • paper
    • construction paper
    • rulers
    • circle & wedge templates
    • scissors
    • glue

    Vocabulary:

    Space: element of art that refers to the shapes and forms and areas that exist around them

    Radial balance: occurs when the elements of design come from a central point

    Symmetry: two halves or sides are identical or balanced

    Repetition: over and over-repeating

    Pattern: a decorative design, containing repetition

    Kaleidoscope: optical instrument with varying symmetrical, colorful displays being shown on rotation

    Procedures:

    The teacher goes over art resources and discusses the vocabulary with students. When shown the visuals, students and teacher discuss the similarities of the pieces. The teacher uses vocabulary words and tries to pull vocabulary from students in the questioning. The teacher also discusses how the students' radial balance artworks must include a personal element in either subject matter. This can be accomplished by students using their favorite colors, choosing a theme, or some other aspect to personalize it. The final composition will be circular with a repetitive pattern. This will be accomplished by dividing a circle into 6 wedges.

    1. Students must brainstorm their pattern idea and begin sketching.
    2. Students then use the wedge template and draw a detailed design depicting what they are going to do.
    3. After teacher approval, students finalize their wedge design.
    4. Using the circle template, they trace and draw a circle onto white paper and divide it into 6.
    5. Students draw their composition into each wedge and then color with colored pencils or markers.
    6. Students mount their finished wheels on black construction paper.

    The complexity of this radial design art lesson can be adjusted depending on the age of students. For a high school group the requirement could be to divide the circle into 8 wedges with 2 repeating designs. For younger students dividing the circle into 4 might be sufficient.