Origami: Much More than just Folding Paper

11 November is Origami Day in Japan. The art of paper folding may seem like just a pleasant pastime but it can be therapeutic and it’s a universal activity that anyone can do. Nothing beats the feeling of successfully creating an object out of a humble piece of paper.

In the classroom, it can be used to engage students to learn different concepts, and can be used to focus students and wind down a busy day in class.

Researchers have discovered a number of ways that origami can help students learn whilst having fun. A study of using origami in maths lessons showed that students enjoyed the task of discovering how origami models were made and displayed perseverance and communication skills amongst others. Another study found that origami-mathematic lessons can be as beneficial as using traditional teaching methods.

Here are 5 reasons why origami is great:

1) It’s fun and encourages sharing

Students enjoy learning to make things with their hands and origami piques curiosity which encourages students to teach each other how to make different models.

2) Makes geometry and mathematics more fun

Teaching fractions, shapes and angles with origami makes the learning more hands on and visual. Using a piece of paper to produce a 3D model can help children understand visual-spatial reasoning.

3) Problem solving

From simple origami models to complicated ones, they all require making folds in a certain order to create the end object. Students must carefully follow instructions and use trial and error to get it right.

4) Therapeutic

Origami has been used in therapy to help children with ADHD to develop concentration skills and it has been found to help with anxiety. Origami can be relaxing and for the period of the activity, you are only focusing on the actions and so can encourage mindfulness and patience.

5) It’s for everyone, anywhere

You don’t have to be good at maths or have any other skills to start origami, anyone can take part and all you need is a piece of paper which means you can do it anywhere.

Get folding wherever you are and remember to send us your origami creations on social media as we will be posting ours!

More information

Find out how you can use origami to teach maths.

Read about how to teach folding an origami model to your class.

If you want to find out more about how getting creative expands awareness, increases empathy, and helps children develop an array of social skills, have a look at our blog on the Non-Academic benefit of the Arts.

Sources: Edutopia - 5 Reasons Why Origami Improves Students' Skills.

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