Arts of Asia in Reach
Bodhidharma/Daruma Doll Lesson Plan
3. Strategies & Procedures

Engage (Motivation)
  • Students will be introduced to Bodhidharma (also known as Daruma)
  • Students will discuss New Year's traditions, comparing those of the United States to those of Japan, specifically the Daruma doll.
  • Students will compare goal setting that they have done in the past with the premise of the Daruma doll.
  • Students will note the modern use of the Daruma during political elections, etc.
  • Students will view Power Point presentation with slides of Bodhidharma as subject of paintings and examples of Daruma dolls.


  1. Japanese New Year's: Daruma Dolls
    • What do Daruma dolls represent?
    • What do you do with one?
    • Where can you get these dolls?
    • What materials are they made of?

  2. The Legend of Bodhidharma
    • Who was Bodhidharma?
    • Why did he meditate?
    • According to legend, how did green tea come to China?

  3. Daruma Doll: Goal Setting
    • Color in Daruma doll body and decorations.
    • Write goal down and record date. (Don't forget to write your name!)
    • Color in pupil of the doll's left eye.
    • When goal is achieved, color in pupil of the other eye!

Students will view examples of Bodhidharma in artwork and discuss the similarities and differences between Daruma in each work.


Students will create their own Daruma doll!

Directions for Kindergarten Students
  • Trace around Daruma doll body template onto red construction paper using pencil.
  • Carefully cut out red body shape using safety scissors.
  • Trace around Daruma doll face template onto white construction paper using pencil.
  • Carefully cut out white face shape with safety scissors.
  • Glue white face shape onto red face shape with glue stick.
  • Draw Daruma's eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, and mustache/beard onto white face using crayon or marker.
  • Draw designs onto gold tissue paper with pencil.
  • Carefully cut out drawn designs from gold tissue paper with safety scissors.
  • Glue cut-out gold tissue paper designs/decorations onto red body of Daruma doll using glue stick.
  • Color in the pupil of the Daruma doll's left eye and set a goal or make a wish.
  • When your wish comes true or you reach your goal, color in the pupil of the doll's right eye!

Directions for 1st and 2nd Grade Students
Lesson 1:
  • Using safety scissors, cut out face shape.
  • Color and decorate paper face shape with colored pencils and/or markers.
  • Form 1.5' sheet of aluminum foil into oval shape (approximately 1.5"x1.75")
  • Roll oval onto hard surface so sharp edges are compressed into a smooth surface.
  • Using the "pinch-pot" method, press 1 ounce of Crayola Model Magic until 1/4" thick.
  • Mold 1/4" thick Crayola Model Magic around aluminum foil oval form, covering all exposed foil edges.
  • Reshape and smooth surface into an egg or oval shape.
  • Push shape down onto flat surface gently, creating a flat bottom to the shape.
  • Write name or initials on bottom of doll.
  • Press colored cut-out face into front side of oval shape.
  • Form modeling clay around face shape creating a small lip.
  • Add a small even layer of white glue to the back of the face cut-out.
  • Press face (with glue on back) into indentation.
  • Let clay and glue dry for 24 hours.

Lesson 2:
  • Apply red acrylic paint to the surface of the fully-dried Daruma doll with a soft paint brush.
  • Set aside and let dry.
  • Once red paint has dried completely, use gold paint pens/markers to add decoration to the body.
  • Re-write name or initials on bottom of doll (after paint)

Continue to: 4. Assessment & Closure