Christmas in July! Folded Paper Stars with Symmetry

Folded Paper Star decoration with symmetryThese hang­ing stars are a hit year after year with my 4th graders. You can make these in any size you want.… the size of the squares you start with will deter­mine the size of your fin­ished stars. (When I teach this les­son, I use 12″ squares in two dif­fer­ent col­ors to demon­strate the fold­ing and glu­ing steps on the white board. Instead of glue, I used tape rolls with low tack blue painter’s tape for my demo… that way I can keep reusing the pieces!)

For each star, you will need:

  • 8 squares of white paper (We usu­ally use 3″ x 3″ squares to make a star that’s 8–1/2″ across, but you could go larger (use 12″ squares to make a 22–1/2″ star) or smaller (use 1″ squares to make a 2–3/4″ star — per­fect for hang­ing on a Christ­mas tree, but a much trick­ier size to fold). We use plain white copy paper for our 8–1/2″ stars, but for larger stars, con­struc­tion paper can also be used.
  • Glue stick (Use a good one! I rec­om­mend the Avery Per­ma­nent Glue Stic.… or use YES! Paste)
  • Mark­ers for dec­o­rat­ing your star
  • Small (1/8″) hole punch
  • Metal­lic cord for hanging
  • Baby wipes for clean­ing glue off of desks!

Direc­tions:

1. Fold each of your white squares in half, on the diag­o­nal. Then open them up again.

2. With each square in the “dia­mond” posi­tion, fold the left and right cor­ners in so they meet in the mid­dle, with the straight edges touch­ing the fold. Repeat this step with each square, glu­ing the flaps in place as you fold them down.

3. Now it’s time to glue each of your star sec­tions together. Begin by posi­tion­ing your first piece with it’s “nar­row­est point” point­ing away from you. Then with your next piece in the same posi­tion, glue it to your first piece so the lower left edge lines up with the fold line of the first piece. Glue these two pieces together where they overlap.

4. Turn your star slightly to the left, and con­tinue lin­ing up the lower left edge of each suc­ces­sive piece with the fold line of the piece before it. Glue each piece down as you go. (This is the step where stu­dents tend to get con­fused.… make sure they line up their edges with the fold line!)

5. Repeat until all eight sec­tions are glued together. Then go back and check for any areas that might be a lit­tle loose and add more glue as needed.

6. Use mark­ers to add col­or­ful pat­terns to your stars, try­ing to keep your pat­terns and col­ors sym­met­ri­cal.

Folded paper star demo on white board

Write direc­tions on the white board as you demon­strate. Work LARGE so stu­dents can refer to your sam­ple as they make their own.

I rec­om­mend lam­i­nat­ing these stars so they will last from year to year! As with any project using lay­ers of paper, make sure you run your lam­i­nat­ing machine on its slow­est set­ting to get a good seal. If lam­i­nat­ing isn’t an option, use heav­ier paper (like con­struc­tion paper) and YES! Paste to make sure the pieces will stay together (projects made with glue sticks, even good ones, tend to pop apart over time).

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Christmas in July! Folded Paper Stars with Symmetry

  1. Christopher Selva September 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    I love this idea! Its great for class­room use for tough sub­jects such as symmetry!

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