Origami - The Ancient Art of Paper Folding
(an excellent opportunity for research, problem solving & group skills)








origami in the classroom


Each student must find an example of origami that is outside their 'comfort zone'. They must learn to fold the example. During the teaching phase the students may refer to the instructions briefly but are not to rely on them. At the end of a week the children are grouped in 4s and each person is to teach the rest of the group how to make the piece.

Tips & Tricks

  • revise the types of positional language you might need - fold left to right, top to bottom, diagonal, horizontal fold, vertical fold, flip etc
  • invite another class in to be taught by your students to help build a sense of community in the school
  • some websites have origami pages where you can download and print templates that have colour patterns on them. I've had children print out enough zebra templates for their group to practice on then when the group have mastered the folding make a 'good one' presentation
  • frustration is inevitable in this situation. Take the teachable moment to discuss options for working through frustration in order to achieve success.
  • 'Failing simply increases my resolve to succeed!'
  • 'The mark of a person in what they do the 4th and 5th times they fail.'

  • make a wall display in the school foyer, in your window or anywhere else it can be seen with a reference to 'moving outside your comfort zone'
  • have the children blog the experience with reference to 'learning new things' and 'extending their comfort zone'

Working Smarter:

For the class teacher this is a great way to increase your knowledge of origami as the kids do most of the work and you can learn to fold the most impressive examples ready to astound next year's class :)

Sudako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - This is a deeply moving book that I read every year on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. It seems to me that mainstream media seems to sweep this event under the carpet.


If you are tempted to fold the 1000 paper cranes, it takes too long for one class to do it. Have your class learn a simple crane and then invite other classes in to learn how to fold the crane.

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