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Telling A Story Using Origami
What is origami?
The art of making paper first originated in China in the year 102A.D. At that time paper was becoming more readily available to the masses. Paper making stayed in China for several hundred years and then finally spread to Korea and Japan. Soon, paper making became a vital part of Japanese life. Japanese people appreciated the practical and creative uses of paper. The art of paper folding, or origami, soon took flight and became part of Japan's culture.
This beautiful art form continues to be handed down from one generation to the next. It is a way to create any object, any dream, out of a piece of paper.
I grew up appreciating origami. Every summer I attended Japanese summer school and it was there that I was introduced to my first origami story. One of my teachers used origami, rather than pictures from a book, to illustrate an old Japanese folktale, The Peach Boy. This skilled teacher only needed her voice and her wonderful origami creations to transport the class to the far regions of Japan. We were amazed to see the story come to life right before our eyes and it was then that I truly fell in love with the art of storytelling.
Later, as an early educator, I was excited to discover a local librarian who performed origami stories. We invited this skilled librarian to our class and instantly fell in love with one particular story, The Paper Hat. It has been retold by many, sometimes under a different title, but the story always has the same theme. It is a story about a curious child with a vivid imagination who is able to become anything and travel anywhere with just a piece of paper.
It is a story for the kid in all of us.
The Paper Hat
Benefits Of Origami
“Motor activity in the form of skilled movement is vital to the development of intuitive thoughts and the mental representation of the brain." - Piaget
- Visual memory
- Visual-spatial motor skills
- Verbal and visual memory
- Logical reasoning
- Problem solving
- Fine-motor skills
- Eye-hand coordination
- Sequential memory
- Listening Skills
This is only a partial list of the cognitive skills benefited by origami. Origami is used to treat many different conditions, such as children with learning disabilities who display feelings of low self-worth.
Martha Lady, a learning disability specialist from North Brunswick NJ, emphasizes that the self esteem component is crucial to the entire process of learning,“Most learning disabled children stopped succeeding in educational settings because they had difficulties so they stopped trying. If you give them successful experience...something that they successfully learned, they won’t be scared to attempt something else new. Origami takes the phobia out of attempting. Yes, they may fail, but they can fix their mistakes and try again. Origami gives them permission to take risks. The child is doing something that not everyone can do. Here is something that is admired”.
Tell A Story With Origami
Now it is your turn to tell a story with origami. What will you create? Who will you inspire?