Kyna Stelling
Grade Level: 5th/6th
Time Frame: 45-60 minutes
TOPIC: Visual arts lesson featuring origami that is constructed by
individual students.
Historical and Cultural Context: Through active
participation in Japanese origami, students will demonstrate their
skills in this cultural art form.
Aesthetic Valuing: Students will share their favorite
origami with the class and they will all be displayed on a line
stretched across the classroom for discussion.
RATIONALE: Appreciation for other cultures is important to learn
at an early age. Participating in one of their visual art forms is a
great way to foster this appreciation. Origami, also nurtures fine
motor skills necessary throughout life.
STRATEGY: A combination of direct instruction and guided
discovery will be used.
VOCABULARY: Origami, Reverse fold, Inside reverse fold
Origami-- The Japanese art of folding paper
Reverse Fold-- The teacher will demonstrate this technique
Inside Reverse Fold-- The teacher will demonstrate this
Introduction: The teacher will explain origami- Origami, the art of
paper folding, is a favorite pastime of Japanese children. The
Japanese have practiced origami for more than ten centuries.
Brought to Japan by the Chinese, origami became part of the Doll
Festival, where children threw folded paper dolls into the river to
drive away evil spirits. The shapes of animals, insects, people, and
any number of things can be fashioned from paper. In traditional
origami, these objects are made, without cutting or gluing, from a
single sheet of paper.

The teacher will then demonstrate two techniques they may be
using in their origami; reverse fold and inside reverse fold. (these are
common simple techniques found in any beginning origami books)
He/She will then explain that each student will complete at least one
origami but may do as many as time allows. Besides the worksheets
that will be handed out the teacher can also give a hands-on
demonstration to groups of four, at a side or back table, on a more
difficult origami item that may be to difficult to follow on paper.
Pupil Activity Sequence:
1. The teacher will have the students fold and cut their paper so that
they will have a square to begin. (if using regular paper)
2. Each student will be given four instruction sheets to use for their
choice of origami. (these can be copied out of any beginning origami
3. Groups of four will work with the teacher using direct instruction.
4. Marking pens will be provided to make eyes and put their names
on their origami.
5. The students will punch holes in the top of their origami and put
yarn through it and an unbent paperclip, so it can be hung on a line
stretched across the classroom.
Closure: Once the origami is hung up, the teacher will lead a class
discussion on the pieces they made. There will be a class discussion
about difficulties and successes they may have experienced during
the process.
Evaluation: Evaluation will occur during the class discussion as the
teacher listens to them talk about their experiences. The teacher will
also check to see that each student has completed at
least one origami piece with correct folding techniques.
Typing or copy paper (if origami paper is unavailable)
Scissors (if origami paper is unavailable)
Felt tip markers (non-toxic)
Hole puncher
Mimeographed instructions with illustrations
Paper could be cut into squares in advance for time

Teacher should know how to make the origami chosen so they
can offer help
CLEAN-UP: Each student will be responsible for cleaning up their
own paper scraps.
This lesson can be adapted to a younger or older grade.
This could be a literature-based lesson by using the book,
"Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" by Eleanor Coerr.