STEAM - Rangoli Designs

STEAM - Rangoli Designs

Lesson 1 of 2 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Primary
  • Year 3 - 4
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts
  • Environmental
  • Sustainability
  • Economic
  • Design Thinking
  • Systems Thinking
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students will develop cultural understanding by exploring the Diwali celebration of India and the custom of rangoli art. Rangoli is a traditional art form in which pictures are drawn with materials such as coloured rice, flour or sand. They are made in the entrances of homes and are believed to promote health and wellbeing. The designs are generally symmetrical in nature and include vibrant colours. The presence of symmetry in rangoli designs allows students to link their exploration of visual art and culture to mathematical concepts as they respond to and create their own designs.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • be aware of the diversity of culture in our world
  • apply a range of techniques from different cultures and times to create works of art.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • explain key aspects of the Indian Diwali festival
  • explain features of rangoli designs
  • apply techniques to create lines using sand
  • apply techniques to fill spaces with colour
  • identify symmetry in designs.
Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 3 and 4 Art:

  • Explore ideas and artworks from different cultures and times, including artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to use as inspiration for their own representations (ACAVAM110).
  • Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111).
  • Present artworks and describe how they have used visual conventions to represent their ideas (ACAVAM112).
  • Identify intended purposes and meanings of artworks using visual arts terminology to compare artworks, starting with visual artworks in Australia including visual artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR113).

Year 3 Mathematics:

  • Identify symmetry in the environment (ACMMG066)

Year 4 Mathematics:

  • Create symmetrical patterns, pictures and shapes with and without digital technologies (ACMMG091)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS2.1, VAS2.2, VAS2.3, VAS2.4MA2‑1WM, MA2‑2WM, MA2‑3WM, MA2-15MG

General capabilities:  LiteracyNumeracyCritical and Creative ThinkingIntercultural Understanding

Relevant parts of Year 3 Mathematics Achievement Standards: By the end of Year 3, students recognise the connection between addition and subtraction and solve problems using efficient strategies for multiplication. They model and represent unit fractions. They recall addition and multiplication facts for single-digit numbers. Students use metric units for length, mass and capacity. Students make models of three-dimensional objects.

Relevant parts of Year 4 Mathematics Achievement Standards: By the end of Year 4 students recognise common equivalent fractions in familiar contexts and make connections between fraction and decimal notations up to two decimal places. Students compare areas of regular and irregular shapes using informal units. Students create symmetrical shapes and patterns.

Relevant parts of Year 3 and 4 Visual Arts Achievement Standards: Students describe and discuss similarities and differences between artworks they make and those to which they respond. They discuss how they and others organise the elements and processes in artworks.
Students collaborate to plan and make artworks that communicate ideas.

Relevant parts of Year 3 and 4 Design and Technologies Achievement Standards: Students generate and record design ideas for an audience using technical terms and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms. They plan a sequence of steps (algorithms) to create solutions, including visual programs.

Unit of workLearning Through Art & Craft – Primary

Time required: 120 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – students will likely require support to develop the techniques needed to draw lines and fill spaces with sand.

Resources required

  • Bangles (various sizes to share)
  • Coloured sand and Natural sand (watch this clip to see how to create coloured sand using natural sand and powdered paint)
  • Combs (various, for students to share), forks, cotton buds, teaspoons and matchsticks (one per student)
  • Device capable of displaying video
  • Device capable of photographing student designs
  • Glitter shakers (around one per three students)
  • Portable digital devices (at least one per pair)
  • Student Worksheet (one per student)


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural understanding
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

Additional info

STEAM Education:

Over recent years, the importance of STEM has been heavily promoted and discussed within fields of education. This has been within the context of ensuring that the next generation of students are provided with relevant knowledge and skills for the 21st century. STEM acknowledges the importance of the interrelated nature of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the prominence of these skills in a world of continuous technological advancement.

What was missing from this original acronym, however, was an acknowledgement of the vital importance of artistic and creative thinking. The ability to think outside the box to develop artistic and creative solutions. 

The relevance of art is integral to success in all of the original STEM areas, and so STEAM education is now moving to the forefront. Significant figures in science and technological advancement (notably Leonardo DaVinci, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs) valued and applied the contribution of artistic skill into their work and art, design and creativity is also pivotal to success in industries such as marketing, advertising and promotion.

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