Saturday, September 27, 2008

Simple Origami

At the beginning of the school my class has fun learning the art of origami and making paper cranes. We learn the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who developed leukemia after the atom bomb explosion over Hiroshima. Sadako tried to fold 1000 paper cranes after a friend told her that doing so might make her well again. Sadako never completed her task before dying.

My class learns the story through books and a video. Then we learn how to fold paper cranes through another entertaining companion video. Here are printable directions to fold a paper crane. We talk about the math of paper folding. Our first chapter in "Everyday Math" includes work with geometric shapes. In working out the origami cranes we can find many geometric shapes along the way: squares, triangles, rectangles, kites, parallelograms, and others. There are many other educational benefits to working with origami. Once a child creates their first paper crane there is a huge sense of accomplishment!

This site however is about doing teaching in simple ways, so here is a website that demonstrates how to do simple origami. It is called Instant Origami and you might get a kick out of their instant hands-on lessons in origami. It takes origami in a completely new direction. Look for the "instructions" link as it clearly gives you an understanding of everything you wanted to know.

On the Polar Origami site you will find video tutorials on creating origami creations from the beginner iceberg to the more advanced polar bear.

On the related Origami Now site you will get video instruction for making animals from beginner frogs to advanced butterflies. There is an interesting video of "wet-folding" an origami bat. Using wet paper can make more graceful and rounded folds.

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