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Origami Forms

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

Boats, Frogs, and Cranes, oh MY!

Background Information: I begin my origami unit to start off the sculpture section of the year. I love showing this video about the history of the One Thousand Cranes Tradition. The video is beautifully put together. I also have a quiz at the end of this video. We begin with practicing the basic folds of origami as well as practicing how to create neat folds and creases. My favorite beginner forms are the boat and fortune teller folds. We end the unit with the complex form of the crane. I use a student/teacher graded rubric for students to assess themselves at the end of the project.

Learning Objectives:

  • The student will learn the basic techniques to create origami sculptures.

  • The student will learn about the origin of the Thousand Cranes Tradition.

  • The student will create a three dimensional sculpture in the form of origami.

  • The student will learn how to photograph a sculpture properly.

Anchor Standards:

  • Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.

  • Anchor Standard 4: Analyze, interpret, and select artistic work for presentation.

  • Anchor Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

  • Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

  • Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.

Essential Questions:

  • What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking?

  • What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks?

  • How does collaboration expand the creative process?

  • How do artists work?

  • How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective?

  • How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?

Enduring Understanding(s):

  • Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed

  • Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches

  • Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.


  • Struggling students may select from simpler origami forms such as the frog or fortune teller.

Project Duration (1 Week):

  • Introduction. 1 Day

  • Project Time: 2-3 Days

  • Reflection and Grading: 1 Day

Lesson Adaptations or Other Ideas:

  • Students may decorate or add details to their final origami forms.

  • Students are encouraged to explore origami forms outside of the given forms in class

  • Students can be taught how to photograph their origami forms in creative ways after the project is over

  • Students can use lighting when photographing their forms to use for observational drawing reference images, or as still life set ups.


  • One Thousand Cranes Video:

  • How to fold a create a square from a rectangle (Created for my remote students at home.)

  • How to fold a boat:

  • How to fold a crane:

  • Photographing origami sculptures

Student Works (From hybrid remote learning):

Happy Folding!


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