As a teacher and pastoral care “tutor”, I am always looking for ways to get kids working together. At the beginning of the year the tutor group room is a mixed-year level (6-12) mixture of strangers and established friends so “GTK” exercises (Getting To Know you) are great icebreakers if you can get them actually talking and working together:
A few years back I struck on an idea to get kids collaboratively folding an origami mega-structure. The model is fairly simple – I taught the newbies (in this case the year 6 and 7 students) a simple modular unit. They then had to go teach another kid in the group, who in turn taught another. The central metaphor is “the WHOLE is greater than the sum of the parts”, “many hands make light work”, “we are as strong as the weakest link” … and so on.
The “monthly modular” is something that would be suitable for hanging on a christmas tree that YOU could make along with me:
This is an Urchin Star, designed by Martin Sejer Andersen with the folding sequence videoed by Jo Nakashima here. I have made a cutting pattern that requires you to print it out on A4 paper twice – you can download that here: print-me-twice.
You need 30 modules, but they are easy to fold, taking no time each once you get into the zone, and they slot together really easily (certainly the easiest assembly of ALL my modulars so far) – even with fat, clumsy fingers like mine.
You should make these – they are lovely – if you use paper coloured on one side, the tips of the star are white, which is pretty also. Wrapping paper would work well – some of the thicker foil-based paper would work well indeed (not that thin plasticised stuff tho, it does not take folds at all)
Have fun with this – totally try it and post your result as a photo on facebook for me to see how it went please.