HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour

Students apply their understanding of radial symmetry and pattern to create a cloth hanging using fabric markers.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 6 to Grade 8


Visual Arts


colour scheme diameter line of symmetry mirror image motif pattern radial balance repetition


Fabric Markers Glue Sticks Polyester Cotton Fabric Tracing Paper Scissors Masking Tape Yarn or Ribbon Bamboo Skewer Iron White Bristol Board 30 cm x 30 cm (12" x12") Fine Line Black Marker


HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step One

Step One

  1. Use the template to trace a circle on the tracing paper.
  2. Cut out the circle.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Fold the circle in half, then in quarters.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Cut along one fold and stop at the centre of the circle.
  2. Find the lines of symmetry on the insects you are using for this design.
  3. Draw half an insect design along one edge on the 1/4 pie section bordered by the cut and half along the other. 
  4. Break your design up into interesting shapes and patterns.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Fold this section under the paper and copy the design onto the next 1/4 pie section.
  2. Unfold the paper.
  3. The quarter section is a mirror image of your original design.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Fold the 1/2 pie section under and copy it onto the other half of the paper to complete the entire circle.
  2. Tape the circle design onto a piece of white Bristol board using clear tape.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Place the fabric on top of the design.
  2. Use Crayola Fabric Markers to colour onto the fabric. 
  3. Use a small scrap of fabric to test colours if you are unsure about how they will look.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Place several layers of blank newsprint over layers of newspaper to make an ironing pad.
  2. Remove the fabric from the Bristol board. Make sure to remove all the tape.
  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 set the marker and make it permanent.
  7. Remove the paper.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Fold the edges of the fabric under about .6 cm (1/4") and glue them in place with a glue stick.
  2. Do the top last.
  3. Apply lots of glue along the fold.
  4. Place a bamboo skewer along the glued surface and fold the fabric over to secure the skewer in place.
HANGING ROUND – Radial Symmetry, Pattern, Colour - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Attach yarn or ribbon to each end of the skewer.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a radial design with an insect motif;
  • plan and use a colour scheme;
  • use repetition of line and shape to create patterns;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


Have students:

  • gather pictures of examples of radial symmetry in nature and compare them with man made designs; 
  • create collages that include both natural and man made examples of radial symmetry, for example, combine a picture of a bicycle wheel with a sunflower to make something new and still have a radial pattern;
  • research one type of radial design in history, for example, mehndi, mandalas, or rose windows and include an artful presentation that requires their peers to make something based on their research. 


  1. Gather required art materials.
  2. Gather and make available books about insects, for example, Insects, by George C. McGavin; DK Eyewitness Books: Butterfly and Moth, by DK Publishing; and Animals: 1,419 Copyright-Free Illustrations of Mammals, Birds, Fish, Insects, etc., by Jim Harter.
  3. Download and display the Colour and Repetition Posters available on this website.
  4. Teach and/or review colour schemes – analogous, triad, complementary, monochromatic.
  5. Teach and/or review radial symmetry.
  6. Download examples of radial designs from the Internet, for example,
    Notre Dame
    Coconut Tree
  7. Download images of insects from the Internet, for example,
    Bee Beetle
    Bee Logo
  8. Cut fabric into pieces about 27 cm x 27 cm (11" x 11") – one per student.
  9. Cut white Bristol board into pieces 30 cm x 30 cm (12" x 12") – one per student.
  10. Cut out circle templates with a 23 cm (9") diameter, or gather compasses, or paper plates for students to use to draw their circles.


  1. View and discuss the use of shape, pattern and colour in various images of different radial patterns.
  2. Invite students to identify the line of symmetry in pictures of different insects.
  3. Use a mirror to demonstrate that the halves are mirror images of each other.
  4. Discuss how you could turn an insect into a design that uses different colours and shapes to create new, and interesting patterns.
  5. Introduce the challenge. 


The Challenge

  1. Create a radial design with an insect motif.
  2. Plan and use a colour scheme.
  3. Use repetition of line and shape to create patterns.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

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
    - an effective insect motif
    - an effective colour scheme
    - effective patterns by repeating lines and colours
    - a fabric hanging in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. 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 students 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 the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Hanging_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - HangingRound_self-assessment.pdf)