Activity Introduction

Quick 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.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

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

General capabilities:  Literacy, Numeracy, Critical 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.

Topic: Art & Craft.

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).

Keywords: Hindu, festival, culture, tradition, design, symmetry, colour, art, craft, Diwali, rangoli.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

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.


Teacher content information:

Art & Craft

Art & Craft lessons provide students with the unique opportunity to combine very open creative techniques to their learning. As a less 'high stakes' version of the Visual Arts, in Art & Craft lessons, students are freer to play as they create their works. This more relaxed, open creative process often leads to a greater level of comfort for students to take risks in their art making. Art and Craft lessons make failure in art-making less daunting and innovation

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Rangoli is a traditional Indian art form dating back several centuries

1. After watching the clips about Diwali and rangoli art, answer the following questions to show your understanding:

What is the Diwali festival also known as? 

What does the Diwali festival celebrate? 

What are some of the customs and traditions during the Diwali festival?  

What is rangoli art? 

2. In this task you will be exploring a variety of techniques that are used to create rangoli designs by following the instructions below.

What you need:

  • A digital device to watch demonstrations of techniques (to share with a partner).
  • Natural sand (coloured sand will be used later in the lesson).
  • For yourself: cotton bud, matchstick, teaspoon, fork.
  • To share with others: bangles and combs.

What to do:

Watch sections of the video below and try out the techniques shown.

Rangoli basic techniques and innovative rangoli patterns | Poonam Borkar rangoli (

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