INSTRUCTION IN THE ART OF ORIGAMI
The origami class is intended to instruct students in the ancient Japanese art of paper folding known as Origami. Translated, Origami simply means ‘folding paper’. Students learn to fold Origami models from a single sheet of paper and to read and interpret Origami diagrams.
The goal of the classes or workshops is to enable the students to acquire skills that will allow them to fold Origami models on their own, using diagrams readily available in books and on the internet. Without the use of any additional materials, students are able to take an ordinary sheet of paper and transform it into a three dimensional and life-like sculpture. This process instills self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment in the individual and is sure to garner the admiration of their peers.
During each Origami class, the student observes, through demonstration, the methodology of the art form and is given a set of sequential directions by the Origami instructor. The models they create are rewarding, in and of themselves, and can be preserved as a part of their own collection or given as gifts to friends.
A special program designed for kindergarten and 1st-grade students incorporates origami and storytelling. In addition to learning origami in a modified way, the young students will listen to a story while watching the teacher as she folds an origami model which follows the steps of the story, and culminates in a surprising effect.
The range of possible uses for their creations is endless and the subject matter limited only by the students’ acquired skills. Inanimate objects appear animate as they strive to create any number of objects found in their natural surroundings such as animals and flowers or other inspirations taken from nature. Boxes, containers, jewelry, party favors, and invitations, as well as greeting cards, remain amongst the most popular subjects chosen by children.
This activity requires no extraordinary talent and no materials other than the paper itself. Results are immediate and satisfying and are well suited for children of various ages. A special program has been designed for younger children of kindergarten age or those attending first grade. This class incorporates the age-old art of storytelling. The children are entertained by a story as they watch the instructor as she folds the model. The story follows along each step in the folding process and culminates in a surprise ending, much to the delight of the children.
It has been our experience that children perceive the class much as they would a game and the results are synonymous to a magical experience for them. In reality, Origami has many of the characteristics of a game. It is enjoyable, entertaining and exciting and follows certain rules while simultaneously giving them an opportunity to learn by doing. As the paper folds, the mind unfolds.
During the weekly sessions that range from one hour to one and one-half hours, the students are immersed in the multi-sensory, hands-on activity which enhances their academic and cognitive skills in a way most children find extremely enjoyable while learning to follow direction. Visual and sequential memory abilities, development of motor skills and hand-eye coordination, spatial perception, logical reasoning, and concentration are all additional benefits of this activity.
Through Origami’s intrinsic mathematical nature, students learn to literally manipulate mathematical concepts such as symmetry, proportion, angles and the bisection of angles, fractions and a multitude of other theories but find they are doing so in an entertaining way, far removed from the structure of formal mathematical instruction.