As a teacher, I look for activities, particularly in the establishment phase of a year, to engage. Nothing says engagement like a hands-on physical activity and, as my wont is origami, I went for a modular project:
Folded from David Brill’s book “Brilliant Origami”, I chose this modular as the modules themselves are fairly easy to fold (for novices with little time) and the construction of the ball from the bits has a number of nice schemes to enhance it’s appearance.
I went to the print room, got 3 A4 sheets of 6 different colours, split the sheets to be A5 and plonked the pile of 30 pieces on the table in front of me – showed them how to fold it and then asked them to fold the rest (there are 20 kids in the group, 30 bits of paper so the keen ones got to fold a couple). I also got them to write their names on their modules, so they could see they were part of something bigger.
Over the next 2 days I gradually put it together, showing that with only a few modules it was flimsy, but the more that got in and working together, the stronger it became until the completed dodecahedron locked together and became fairly rigid and stable.
Did it work as an intro activity? – sort of. Those that bothered did a good job, some were busy doing other things (and I was not about forcing them to do something they really did not want to do). If I had more time I would have got them to construct it there and then, the message would have been stronger. Still, we do what we can.