Title: Radial Design

Grade Rage: Secondary


Download the lesson plan in .pdf here



  • Helix Angle & Circle Maker [36002]
  • Helix Circle Ruler [36001]
  • Maped Unbreakable 12” Ruler [245649]
  • Maped Essentials Triangular Graphite #2 Pencils [851779ZT]
  • Maped Classic 1 Hole Metal Pencil Sharpener [006600] (optional)
  • Maped Watercolor Colored Pencils [836013ZV]
  • Cup of water for watercolor painting
  • Black fine tip marker or pen


Overview & Directions:

  • Give each student a square sheet of paper, any size will do. FYI The larger the paper, the more time the assignment will take so you can scale this up or down as you choose
  • Place the ruler on diagonal corners of the paper, and lightly draw a line across. Repeat on the other diagonal corners to create an X. The middle of the x will be the center of the paper – make a small dark dot in the dead center
  • Examine the Helix Angle & Circle maker. Note that it has a dark ring on the outside, and a clear center. Look at the outside of the ring. Locate the zero mark. While holding the outside still, gently rotate the line on the inside ring until the line lines up with the zero on the outside of the ring. Note that the center of the Circle Maker has a zero, as well. This will be the center of your circle and will line up at the center dot on your paper.
  • Place the center ZERO of the Circle Maker directly on top of the dot in the middle of your paper. Line up the ZERO mark on the outside ring with the upper right hand line of your X mark on your paper. Now align the line on the inside ring of the Circle Maker with that same pencil mark. Check to make sure your Circle Maker has not moved.
  • Take your pencil and draw a circle around the outer ring of the Circle Maker.
  • Examine the Circle Maker’s outer ring again and note that the circle has 360° marked on the outer ring. Instruct the students that they are able to divide up the circle into equal portions by simple dividing the 360° by the number of “slices’ you want to divide up your pie. For this assignment, you can suggest dividing by 12 (Answer: 360°/12=30° ‘slices’)
  • Now you know that the circle will need to be marked every 30°. Look down at the Circle Maker on your paper. Be sure it is in the center of your paper, and that the inner line on the ring lines up to the ZERO on the outside of the circle and the line on your paper. Looking at the outside of your circle, make a small mark at the Zero mark. Look at the outer ring until you find the 30° mark, and make a small mark there. Move your pencil to the hole in the line on the inside ring, and lightly draw a line. Add 30° to find your next mark will go on the 60° mark. Continue to add 30° until you have marked 30° in even increments around your circle. (Tip Students may prefer to do the math on a scratch sheet of paper first to find their measurements: 30+30=60, 60+30=90, 90+30=120, etc. Those are the degree measurements they will need to mark)
  • Now take your ruler and begin to lightly draw lines across your circle (they can extend outside of the circle, as well). Draw your lines from mark to mark until their circle is divided up into 12 equal pie slices. Using the Angle & Circle Maker, begin drawing curved lines to break up the pie slices. Remember this is radial symmetry, so whatever you do to one “slice” you must do the same thing to each slice. Continue breaking up the design into repeating patterns around the circle. Be creative
  • After the design is completely drawn as perfectly as you can, begin to use the watercolor pencils to color in your shapes. Again, repeat the color patterns as well as the shapes to keep the design symmetrical. The harder you color, the brighter the color. If you shade very lightly, the value will be lighter because the white paper will show through.
  • After the coloring is completed, begin to wet down the shapes of color to blend them. CAUTION: Do not paint the water on two shapes side by side or the water and color will run together. Paint some shapes, then after they are dry, paint some others. Do NOT use too much water…just a little to melt the water color is needed.
  • After the paint has dried, you can take a black fine line marker and outline the shapes, if desired.

Discussion Topics & Evaluation:

  • Evaluation: Did the students divide the circle up evenly & correctly? Did they mirror (as best as possible) the same patterns over to create true radial symmetry?  How appealing was their final result?

Did you like this lesson plan? Share your creations on social networks with the hashtag #MapedDIY , we will be delighted to see what you’ve made! And find all our tutorials of creative activities online.

See you soon!