Origami Crane Ornaments

“An ancient Japan­ese leg­end promises that any­one who folds a thou­sand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recov­ery from ill­ness or injury.… In Asia, it is com­monly said that fold­ing 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person’s wish come true. This makes them pop­u­lar gifts for spe­cial friends and fam­ily.” (from Wikipedia)

Origami cranes make beau­ti­ful orna­ments that look much more dif­fi­cult to make than they actu­ally are! The keys to suc­cess with origami (from my expe­ri­ence, any­way!) are clear, well writ­ten and illus­trated instruc­tions, pre­cise fold­ing and the right paper. I found a great web­site with easy to fol­low instruc­tions for a vari­ety of origami projects — this site even offers videos and print­able pdf’s! How much eas­ier can they make it??! Check out instruc­tions for the origami crane pic­tured here, and many oth­ers, on origami-fun.com.

(As for paper, I rec­om­mend not using foil paper until you’ve had a chance to prac­tice with some of the more basic papers. While foil papers can be beau­ti­ful, they are also much less for­giv­ing of mis-folds! And most impor­tant of all.… before you begin, make sure your paper is a per­fect square — equal on all sides!)

I will be mak­ing cranes with my 6th graders this week, but a moti­vated 4th grader could also han­dle this project. I like to have my stu­dents fold their cranes along with me as I demon­strate with a larger piece of paper. Some stu­dents will need indi­vid­ual atten­tion when they get “stuck”, so if you have a large class, it’s a good idea to have extra par­ent vol­un­teers cir­cu­lat­ing the room. I also give each stu­dent a page of printed instruc­tions to fol­low, which they can take home if they feel inspired to keep folding!

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