|Sun Shadow Mandala Instructions:
- Choose a character from the novel for
which to create this mandala.
- Selecting The Sun Images: Put yourself
in a quiet, receptive frame of mind. Think of yourself as the character you
have chosen. As that character, write down your responses to the following
|What animal are you most like?
What plant are you most like?
What color are you most like?
What shape are you most like?
What number are you most like?
What mineral or gem are you most like?
What natural element are you most like--air, earth, fire, or water?
(you may choose some aspect of the element or the entire
category: breeze, hurricane, or tornado for air, e.g., or
mountain, desert, to beach for earth).
These seven symbols become the sun images for your mandala.
The concept of sun image arises naturally from the method of
arriving at these images in a thoughtful, conscious manner, in
"the light of day" as we say.
- Writing The Sun Sentences:
The next step is to write a sentence for each of these specific symbols. You
may use the following core sentence as you think through your primary reason
for selecting each of your sun images. There may be a number of reasons why
you select a giraffe, for example; but in this part of the exercise, think
about the single most important characteristic that you (as the character)
shares with the giraffe.
Suggested core sentence:
I am like the (sun image) because, like the (item), I
Examples: I am most like poison oak because, like poison oak, I am
harmless until I'm stepped on.
I am most like a giraffe because, like the giraffe, my vision extends beyond
- Selecting Sun Image Qualities:
After you have generated your sun images and the seven sentences elaborating
on the nature of their relationships, construct a mandala chart like the
example below. Fill in column 1, the sun images.
- To fill out Column 2, you will need to find one word to express the
single characteristic or quality that represents the underlying reason for
each choice and place that "quality" word in column two on the
Selecting these words is not easy; it can be a rigorous vocabulary activity.
Selecting these words is a key activity. Even if you end up with a
word you first thought of, you use this word with a firm knowledge of its
appropriateness. I encourage you to use the dictionary, the thesaurus,
the library and each other during this part of the process.
After column two is filled out, you are ready to move to the idea of
opposites, or the shadow images.
- Selecting the Shadow Images: Now move
from the outward, or sun images, to the inward aspects of your character's
life and generate a shadow image for each of the seven categories that will
make up the mandala.
Looking at the quality you have ascribed to your animal image, and using the
thesaurus as a guide, fill in the first line, column 3, with an antonym for
that word. Check to see that the word you choose is the same part of speech.
For example, if your sun quality is intense, for the panther, your
shadow quality might be lethargic rather than lethargy. In column 4,
you write the animal that you think of as the most lethargic animal they can
think of, such as a cow."
- Writing Shadow Sentences: Here is a
core sentence from which to model yours. Write a sentence for each of your
Suggested Core Sentence: "Inwardly, I am like a _____
- Drawing the Sun-Shadow Mandala: The
directions for actually drawing the mandala are very simple:
Within the framework of a circle, using color and shape, but no words, draw
or symbolize all of your sun images and all of your shadow images. Arrange
them in any way that you like. You may want to consider how you place
things in relation to each other or you may want to consider only the way
the colors and shapes look together.
The artistry of the drawing is not as important as the images you choose. Use
symbols if you cannot draw something you have selected. For example, a
simple drawing of the footprint of a bear can stand for a bear.
- Writing the Sun-Shadow Sentences:
Write a single sentence using all of your sun signs. See how you
can weave all of these images together in one sentence. Then
weave your 7 shadow signs into a sentence. Write both of these
sentences around the outside of your mandala to serve as a frame for the
- Publish your mandala for your To
Kill A Mockingbird web project. Scan it and insert it
as a jpeg image. See me for help in making your image ready for
the web. (72 pixels per inch, about 700 pixels wide).
Examples of student-made mandalas:
Jeremiah (click next page to see his sentences) and