As I begin to think about what types of things will be placed in our new makerspace area, I have really started paying attention to what other media specialists have done with making. My first source of inspiration tends to be Pinterest, but eventually I seek out those who are close to me. The librarians that I work with in my local RESA are usually the BEST source of great ideas!
Several of those librarians have used origami in their own makerspaces with success, so I thought I would give it a try. As I prepared stations for my "maker week" lesson of the month, I included a winter animals book mark activity. I used only materials I already had on-hand so there was no cost involved.
The origami station was set up with a sign, directions, materials, and also a laptop. I created a Padlet where students could see the real-life image of the animals to choose from. I have shared my Padlet below, so feel free to use it for your own makerspace. I also linked to four YouTube tutorial videos on how to make the book mark for each animal type. The fact that I was limited to only one computer meant that students at the center all had to work on the same creation. This was only a problem in one class. All of the others came to a quick consensus and were fine creating the same animal.
I took a minute to get the kids at this station started because they had to begin with a "perfect square" piece of paper. I didn't have origami squares, so I taught them how to fold and cut the existing paper in order to get the square. This step is included in the videos, but it worked best with me helping them get started. After that, it was all smooth sailing! The snowy owl and polar bear involved a lot of small piece cutting, so it was harder for the 3rd graders, but 5th graders had no issue with these. The snowshoe hare was by far the simplest to make and really was the perfect choice for the 3rd graders. The 4th graders gravitated toward polar bear making and although challenging, they were able to do it!
I think the kids were inspired by this activity! They were amazed that they could create such cute creatures and then when they saw that they could be used as corner book marks, they were beside themselves! They wanted to pose for pictures and everything! I even had one student ask to make a spin-off UNICORN and I said, of course!
I do believe that more origami is in our future. I think students in other centers (like coding and puzzle solving) were wishing they had chosen origami! It was fun, required them to follow directions and work together, and they walked away with a little inspiration to keep reading.
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