Origami In The Classroom
Origami has long been used in the classroom, not only for its beauty and versatility, but for the educational and developmental benefits derived from it. As this art requires the use of both hands, participants stimulate the brain bi-manually, as well as, engage both left and right hemispheres. The physical craft of folding paper strengthens fine motor skills and develops muscle coordination, while improving the ability to follow directions and teaching the brain to sequence. Spatial reasoning is reinforced as students take a one-dimensional piece of paper and turn it into a three-dimensional object. Lastly, origami trains the brain to focus, teaches multi-cultural awareness, and imposes a sense of calm and relaxation on participants. There are many resources, in print and online, that provide directions on how to make just about anything with a piece of paper, embellishments if desired, and some patience! When choosing a project, be sure to keep in mind the attention span and skill level of your students. Additionally, keep in mind that thicker paper is often more challenging to fold and may not be a good idea for small hands. Here is a great pack of origami paper in bright colors! While written directions and a physical sample of the completed project are important, it can also be effective to provide a supplemental instructional video. Many can be found on YouTube or kids craft sites online.
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