Origami – The Ancient Art of Paper Folding
(an excellent opportunity for research, problem-solving & group skills)
Each student must find an example of origami that is, ‘outside their comfort zone’. and learn to fold the example.
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 they found. NB THe students may refer to the instructions briefly but are not to rely on them.
Tips & Tricks:
- One of the key components to experiencing success in this activity is clear communication so revise the types of positional language you might need e.g. fold left to right, top to bottom, along the diagonal, horizontal fold, vertical fold, flip, etc.
- Invite half of another class to your room and send half of your class to the other room, (This helps with space). Your students teach the other students examples of origami. N.B Doing this helps build a sense of community in the school.
- Some websites have origami pages where you can download and print templates that have color patterns on them. I’ve had children print out enough zebra templates for their group to practice on then when the group has mastered the folding they make a ‘good one’
- Youtube is a wonderful source of origami ideas.
- The World Wildlife Fund has an Ipad app to show you how to create presentation origami models of some of the world’s endangered species. These models are grouped from simple to complex.
- Frustration is inevitable in this situation so seize the ‘teachable moment’. Discuss options for working through frustration in order to achieve success.
- Discuss what the following quotes could mean.
‘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. You can make a point in the display of encouraging students to move outside their comfort zone.
- Have the children write about the experience. Be sure to have them reference ‘learning new things’ and ‘extending their comfort zone’
For the class teacher, this is a great way to increase your knowledge of origami as the students do most of the work. Take the opportunity to learn to fold the most impressive examples and next time you do this activity you will astound the punters.
Taking it Further:
Sadako 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 ever tempted to fold the 1000 paper cranes… it takes too long for one class. Have your class learn a simple crane and then invite other classes in to learn how to fold the crane too.