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Marvellous Mehndi

Students learn about the beautiful cultural art of Henna, or Mehndi, and get the opportunity to color on themselves!

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Introduce students to the art of Henna or Mehndi using a computer or class speaker. Teachers may wish to show a video explaining the tradition of Henna tattooing which can be found at not all sections of the video are applicable but the first 2:30 and last 1:30 minutes of the video are informative.
    2. Give students a piece of craft paper (or skin toned construction paper) big enough to trace their hand, a pencil, some Crayola Multicultural and black markers, and a photocopy sheet of a few reference traditional mehndi designs (optional).
    3. Have students trace their hand using the pencil and then start adding designs to the traced hand shape.
    4. Students retrace their pencil lines using the markers. Encourage them to stick to one color which is darker than their skin tone and not switch between markers. When the hand is complete with a variety of designs have students cut out using Crayola Pointed-tip Scissors.
    5. Using the same color and their drawing as a guide have students re-draw their design altering as needed on their own hand. Alternatively, students may draw on each others’ hands. While Crayola Markers are washable, it is advisable to get parental permission prior to the lesson.
    6. Photograph each child using a digital camera so that their mehndi is visible in the picture. Print pictures.
    7. Mount picture and hand on a piece of dark construction paper or heavy cardboard.
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MATH: Generate and analyze patterns.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Explore ways that language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements may facilitate global understanding or may lead to misunderstanding.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

    VA: Analyze historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry.

    VA: Use subject, themes, and symbols, that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics, that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

  • Adaptations

    For science, study other plants and natural materials which are used to stain and dye. Try dying a piece of fabric.

    Incorporate math by adding specific patterns and geometry to your designs.

    Have students study one of the various cultural or religious ceremonies for which people practice the art of Mehndi for and create a poster to share information with their peers about that practice.


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