Monday, February 18, 2013

6th Grade Origami

My 6th graders spent the last 7 weeks creating 1000 origami paper cranes.  6th graders also spent the beginning of semester studying Asia in reading, math, social studies, music, PE, and art.  Working together, the teachers and I created a unit to go with a story they read in class.  I'm not even sure all what they learned that ties to Asia, but when I learned what they were going to do I wanted to jump in too!

I chose to study origami and how it ties into storytelling.  I showed students this video:


Kuniko Yamamoto is a Japanese woman who tells the legends/stories of Japan and origami.  This woman is so interesting and great at telling her stories.  I actually saw her in 2011 at our annual state art conference.  I started my origami unit by showing my 6th graders this video.  They were so excited after seeing this was cool to see their reaction.

We discussed the legend of the 1000 Paper Cranes and how it brings good luck/wealth to the person who makes them.  After the video we went through the step by step to create an origami crane.  My lofty goal was to have each student make 25.  I have 39 6th graders times plus myself is 40.  25 X 40 = 1000!

After 7 weeks I was done...well ok I was over the cranes floating around my room way before then.  Thankfully because I knew it would take a long time for these to be made, the 6th grade teachers allowed me to leave them paper and the students made them during their free time in the regular classroom.  This helped tremendously because otherwise we would still be folding paper cranes.

After students completed their number of cranes, they hung them together with fishing line in strands of 3-6.  Students then created a mobile out of their cranes using wire.  Here are some fun images of the project!

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