Category Archives: Origami and Paper Folding

Some Origami, Fall 2014


mixed 9.11.14 178I do origami at all grade levels.  So many educational bases can covered. Realizing something starts as a 2-d shape and then becomes 3-d is a concept ODE will test for under the heading of nets on the math test in 4th and 5th grade achievement tests.  I use origami to introduce and work on fractions, different shapes, and lot of following directions and listen skills are directly engaged when a student does origami.

mixed 9.11.14 014In the pics above we had worked on doing cups and when the students get the hang of it, I pass out small strips of paper they can fold and cut into small squares to make small cups.  All ages delight in doing small stuff.  I still like it too.

mixed 9.11.14 035We also do bigger cups, as the student above is holding up.  Here you can see he has unfolded the cup(as per instructions) and is coloring in the shapes created in folding the cup.  6/8 are triangles and 2/8 are trapezoids.

mixed 9.11.14 038Here’s a hat with some glued on additions.  Wednesday of this particular week was “Wacky” something  or other day so some of the students went nuts with the colorful additions.

mixed 9.11.14 051Nice shot of a happy child and a completed hat.  The kids like folding stuff and so do I.

mixed 9.11.14 057A nice group shot.

Folding and Cutting Snowflakes

I have always enjoyed folding and cutting paper.  Pop-ups, origami, cutting, and pasting, it’s a problem,  I like it all.   Paper snowflakes are no different.  I generally fold a piece of regular copy paper(8  1/2 x 11)long wise,  fold it into 60 degree triangles,  and then start hacking away. If I’m teaching this to elementary students I’ll be teaching lines of symmetry, hexagons, sequencing, degrees in triangles, how to use a protractor, or some other such educational objective.  But really, in my head, I’m just cutting snowflakes.

There are lots of nice books about snowflakes from a science or an art perspective. The guy Wilson Bentley took some of the first pictures of snowflakes and there is a nice kids book about him called Snowflake Bentley

Below are some links to other people instructions to making snowflakes:

Highhopes snowflakes instructions

Instructables page on snowflake folding

The above are good examples of easy to make six sided snowflakes.

You don’t necessarily have to make the snowflakes from paper.  Here the student is cutting them out of very thin sheet copper.  It’s a little more work physically, you sometimes have to use snips, saws, and a bit more muscle.  the one below is how it came out.

This one is cut from thin aluminum that is colored red on one side.  This came out real well.  I should have chosen a better background color.


You don’t have to stick to just doing 6 sides either.  For the younger student six sides can be a bit challenging so just folding a piece of paper in half and talking about symmetry and lines of symmetry can be useful lesson.

I did this one.  I used the spider web idea(see below)  from Jacks Paper Snowflake, from the movie, The Nighmare Before Christmas, and cut out the Christmas tree and bats instead of the spider.  I have  to do this again and cut the mouth, fangs, and eyes a bit better, maybe add a skull at the top.  That would just scream Christmas spirit, wouldn’t it?

This is three stages of cutting out the spider snowflake from the movie.  Michael in class said he remembered the movie and one of the characters cutting out a spider.  I googled the appropriate words I thought would work and an Instructables lesson/episode(see above links) popped up with a a printable PDF.  I’m always glad when a student suggests something I have not done before.

More examples of cut paper lines of symmetry.  I think Mr. M in the back of the room made the one above.

First Class, Some Origami

Class starts anew, January 9th.

First day, it looks like it's an origami type of day

I often do origami for the following reasons:

1.  I like it.

2.  You can usually find paper so a lot of pre-planning is not necessary.

3.  Since I usually talk to fast, and tend to muddle through directions, the

      students have to talk to, and depend upon each other for the successful

      completion of the project.

4.  A lot of math, literacy(vocabulary), and some cultural items can be

      covered through origami.

Just another shot of students folding paper.

During class we talked about why it’s important to use art projects to enhance and further a students’ understanding of various educational objectives.  We folded some puppets, a hat, a boat, and a  bell shape.

I passed out a syllabus, but if you need another one click: 2012 syllabus

Next class were on to some elements of design; repeated, overlap, no overlap, random and orderly.