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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Origami Group

After learning about how to make Never Ending Cards, I started thinking about what kids could learn from folding paper. Turns out there is quite a bit that can be learned by making a few folds in a sheet of paper! Below are just a few of the benefits that students would gain from learning Origami.

  • Shapes (Identifying basic shapes, new shapes made from folding)
  • Symmetry (Much of Origami is symmetric)
  • Angles (You had a right angle, but folded it in half. Now how many degrees is the angle?)
  • Fractions (You just folded this paper in half three times. How many sections do you have?)
  • Following Directions (Some instructions for making Origami can be very specific and detailed.) 
  • Reading with a purpose (For an added challenge, only provide step-by-step instructions and no pictures)
  • Teaches patience and concentration through attention to detail
  • Teaches perseverence- if they get frustrated with a project, keep trying
  • Making mistakes is a part of the learning process
  • Problem Solving skills- How can you fix your mistakes/ "happy accidents"
  • Gives students a positive hobby/ skill that can be shared with others
  • Gives an outlet for ADHD energy and fiddling
  • Kids can share their hobby through making gifts for others (encourage Random Acts of Kindness!!)
  • Learning how to create a 3D object out of a flat sheet of paper = foundation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  • Students learn to pick up on and apply patterns from folding to other subjects and careers 
Origami Group
I have not yet run an origami group, but it's definitely on my list of groups I'd like to run! I would gear it to 3rd grade and up. Each week, we would focus on a different topic such as having patience, making mistakes, following directions, etc. I would also have them create at least one project each week. I might even throw a challenge at them to deconstruct and recreate a completed origami project. They could make origami to sell as a school fundraiser, or lead a school wide service project making origami for Sandy Hook.

Classroom Guidance Lesson

Using the book, Spread Your Wings and Fly by Mary Saunders, have students fold along with the story in the book as you read. Here is the book description from An Origami Fold and Tell...the ancient Japanese art of origami provides a framework for enhancing self-esteem and achieving spiritual attunement that will stay with readers as they work through the book, as well as the various phases of their lives.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Here is the book description from amazon: Born in Hiroshima in 1943, Sadako was the star of her school's running team, until the dizzy spells started and she was forced to face the hardest race of her life-the race against time.

Empowering Kids 
I would like to leave you with one final note- a direct quote from an article on Enso Journey: The Power of Origami: How it can make you a better person: (I definitely encourage you to read this article!)

"I created something out of nothing. From a simple piece of paper, a new creature was born. For each new piece I made, I felt I had the power to change the world. I could do anything, even if I had nothing to begin with, I could do it."

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