Rangoli patterns

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My topic at school this half term is Celebrations – perfect with Christmas coming up! But when I started looking I realised that this time of year is jam packed with festivals and celebrations of different kinds. So I then decided that I’d focus on a different festival/celebration each week!

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Last week we had Bonfire Night as our theme for the week. We had lots of fun discussing why we celebrate the death of Guy Fawkes by putting a replica of him on a bonfire. (My Australian friend finds this tradition pretty weird and slightly disturbing – and who can blame her?!) This week our theme was Diwali.

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I knew very little about this festival, so went straight to Google to do a little research. Something I came across a lot was the use of rangoli patterns. There are some really beautiful examples on google images. I knew I could link this to maths (repeating patterns/symmetry) and therefore planned a rangoli day!

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I gave the children dotty paper to have a go at making their own rangoli patterns (which turned out to be really difficult for some of them!) but the most successful were the ones they made with coloured rice.

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I printed colouring pictures as guidelines and the children had to use the rice to fill in the outlines – simple!

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I think my favourite part was making the coloured rice. It was super easy – put a load of rice in a Ziploc bag, add some food colouring and give the bag a good old shake! (Remembering to seal the top first, obviously!)

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The blue and purple were gel food colouring which didn’t work as well, but the liquid colouring gave a lovely vibrant colour. We even managed to collect up the rice we’d used, so I now have 2 big bags of multi-coloured rice. Any suggestions what we can use it for next?!

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Of course, not all of it managed to stay in the right place…

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I haven’t seen the cleaners yet, but hope they weren’t too cross!

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