CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art

Students represent the idea of four seasons by creating a radial design on fabric using fabric markers.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 6


Visual Arts


balance contrast mandala radial pattern repetition symmetry


Crayola Fabric Markers Crayola Scissors Crayola Glue Sticks Crayola Glitter Glue Onion Skin Tracing Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") - 1 piece per student White Bristol Board - 30.5 cm x 3o.5 cm (12" x 12") - 1 piece per student Polyester Cotton Fabric - 25 cm x 25 cm (10" x 10") - 1 piece per student Masking Tape Bamboo Skewers - 1 per student Yarn or Ribbon Iron Blank Newsprint Paper

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CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step One

Step One

  1. Use the template to trace the circle on the tracing paper.
  2. Cut out the circle.
  3. Fold the circle into quarters. 
CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Open the circle and cut along one of the folds.
  2. Stop at the centre.
  3. Draw on the 1/4 pie section bordered by this cut.
    - Break up the space with a variety of shapes. 
  4. Fold this section under the paper and trace the design onto the next 1/4 pie section.
  5. Unfold the paper.
  6. The quarter section is a mirror image of your original design.
CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Fold the 1/2 pie section in half and trace it onto the other half of the paper to complete the entire circle.
  2. You may want to outline the design in marker to make it easier to see.
CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Tape the circle design onto a piece of white Bristol board.
  2. Place a piece of fabric on top of the design.
  3. Tape it to the Bristol board to hold it in place.
  4. Use a small scrap of fabric to test the way the Crayola Fabric Markers will look on your fabric.
  5. Trace the drawing and colour it with the fabric markers.
    - Colour directly on the fabric.
CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Place several layers of blank newsprint on top of layers of newspaper to make an ironing pad.
  2. Remove all the tape and the fabric from the Bristol board. 
  3. Place the fabric on top of the ironing pad with the good side facing up.
  4. Place a piece of blank newsprint on top of the fabric.
  5. Set the iron to cotton.
  6. Gently run the iron back and forth over the paper for about 30 seconds making sure to cover the entire design.
    - This will to set the marker ink and make it permanent.
  7. Remove the paper.
CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Place the fabric on your desk with the good side facing down.
  2. Fold the top edge of the fabric in about .6 cm (1/4").
  3. Apply lots of glue along the fold and top of the fabric.
  4. Place a bamboo skewer along the glued surface.
  5. Fold the fabric over and press it into place to secure the skewer.
CHANGING SEASONS – Radial Balance, Fabric Art - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Tie a piece of yarn or ribbon to each end of the bamboo skewer.
  2. Use Crayola glitter glue to add extra sparkle to your finished drawing.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a radial design that represents the four seasons;
  • use contrasting colours to create emphasis;
  • use repetition of line and shape to create balance;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • gather pictures of examples of radial symmetry in nature;
  • compare them with man made designs;
  • create collages that include both natural and man made examples of radial symmetry, e.g.
    combine a picture of a bicycle wheel with a sunflower to make something new and still have a radial pattern
  • write poems to go along with their collages;
  • create a digital class book of the poems and pictures;
  • share their work with another class. 


  1. Gather required art materials.
  2. Gather and make available books about the seasons, for example, the series by Heidi Pross Gray, Autumn is Here!Spring is Here!Winter is Here!Summer is Here!;  Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, by Kenard Pak; Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring, by Kenard Pak; Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, by Julia Rawlinson, and Tiphanie Beeke; Awesome Autumn: All Kinds of Fall Facts and Fun, by Bruce Goldstone; and Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story, by Sean Taylor, Alex Morss, and Cinyee Chiu.
  3. Download and display the Colour, Balance and Repetition Posters available on this website.
  4. Teach or review contrasting colours.
  5. Teach or review radial symmetry.
  6. Teach or review characteristics of the four seasons.
  7. Download examples of radial designs from the Internet, for example,
    Notre Dame
    Coconut Tree
  8. Download images of different seasons from the Internet, for example,
    Grant Wood Fall
    Fall Trees Ottawa
    Winter Edmonton
    Spring Vancouver
    Summer Saskatchewan
  9. Cut fabric into pieces about 27 cm x 27 cm (11" x 11") – one per student.
  10. Cut white Bristol board into pieces 30 cm x 30 cm (12" x 12") – one per student.
  11. Cut out circle tracers, or gather paper plates for students to use to draw their circles. (Downloads - CircleTracers.pdf)


  1. View and discuss the images and illustrations of each season focussing on things that make the scenes effective in the illustrations. 
  2. Have students recall what they have experienced during the various seasons. 
  3. List characteristics of each season on a chart paper. 
  4. View and discuss the use of shape and colour in the images of different radial patterns. 
  5. Introduce the challenge. 


The Challenge

  1. Create a radial design that represents the four seasons.
  2. Use contrasting colours to create emphasis.
  3. Use repetition of line and shape to create balance.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have created:
    - an accurate radial design
    - a design that accurately represents 4 seasons
    - a colour scheme that uses contrasting colours
    - effective patterns by repeating lines and colours
    - a fabric hanging in good condition
  3. Demonstrate how to make and cut the circle
  4. Remind students that their design is meant to show the 4 seasons.
  5. Encourage them to think of lots of details to show the differences in each section of their design while still maintaining the radial pattern.
  6. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  7. Observe students as they work. 
  8. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - Compare their work and describe to each other what they did to get certain effects.
    - Discuss the things that are especially effective and why.

    - Talk about what they found difficult and what they found easy to do.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds hanging to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Seasons_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Seasons_self-assessment.pdf)