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Eco-Mandala Part 1​

Visual Arts > Environmental Education – Understanding Life Systems


This lesson explores the importance of respecting all living things, the distinct characteristics/classifications of natural objects, the positive and negative impacts we have on the environment/society, and the effects we have on larger systems. Using art concepts of balance, harmony, colour, line, etc., we will create an eco-mandala using natural materials found in our natural environment.


  • Natural objects — leaves, flowers, stones, sticks, etc.
  • Paper and coloured pencils.
  • Outdoor space.

Activity Notes

  • HOOK: Learn how to participate in a mindful walk — collect found objects that you feel connected to (explore respecting our environment by using fallen objects and how to pick mindfully).
  • Draw in journal — the materials that were collected — notice and write down the variation of characteristics that are offered to us in our environment. Notice the shapes, form, colour, of each individual object.
  • Discuss how all of these individual objects in nature rely on each other to survive. Are humans also a part of this interdependent environment?
  • What is our positive and negative impact on our environment/society? How do our actions affect larger systems? (How do components work together/work against each other?)

Artist Notes

  • What is a mandala? Mandala means to work within a circle. This circle represents wholeness.
  • Using your found objects, begin to create a visual representation of the environment in harmony and balance. Since this is something to be left outside, what does it mean when it gets blown away by the wind? Or the rain?
  • How can this practice help us be better citizens in our commitment to improving our environment?
  • When things become unbalanced, or destroyed, what can we do to help restore balance?

Art Resources

E-resource: Creating Art Using Natural Materials by Andy Goldsworthy

Morning Altars: Impermanent Earth Art by Day Schildkret