Math = Love: Origami Update

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Origami Update

We had plenty of time following our EOIs to delve deep into the world of origami.  And, my classroom definitely reflected that.

Here's an origami crane that one of my students made for me.  Once students mastered the sonobe cube, I gave them free reign to explore the origami models of their choosing.  Many of my students turned to youtube to find video tutorials.  He was so proud of his crane that he taped it to the top of my computer monitor and made me promise to leave it there.  

Last year, I had first learned to make a sonobe unit.  This year, I'm exploring different styles of sonobe units.  You could say I'm a little obsessed.  These were made from paper scraps from my students' origami projects.

Folded and ready to be assembled.

These were the trickiest pieces to put together!  At one point, I resorted to paperclips and clothespins to keep my pieces from coming apart.  The paper clips weren't my brightest idea because I ended up having to take the pieces back apart to remove the paper clips.  Oops...

But, the finished project was totally worth it!  Isn't it the cutest 24-piece mini cube you've ever seen?

Here it is next to two other cubes made from other styles of sonobe units.

My desk has been taken over by origami!

One of my students designed this origami bird herself.  I was impressed!

Finally, my giant stash of colored paper has paid off!  My school only provides teachers with white copy paper.  If we want colored paper, we have to buy it ourselves.  I'm constantly watching sales online.  Frequently, I can find it for $3-4 per ream.  Yes, I'm obsessed!  I mainly use the colored paper for foldables in our interactive notebooks.  But, it has come in super handy for origami!

This was supposed to be a stellated dodecahedron, but it's missing a few spikes.  I'm still impressed with the incredible amount of hard work that went into creating this!  I think one of my students spent at least 3-4 days on this project.

Several of my students have started trying out various sonobe variations.  I printed 8 variations off the internet for students to reference.

One of my students created a FlexaStar.  This thing is AMAZING!  There is not tape at all holding this together!

The pieces pivot out to make this star/flower shape.

And, if you rotate it completely, it will return to its original state.  Everybody who comes up to my desk can't help but play with this amazing paper toy!

This isn't origami, but some of my students decided to make a giant paper football.  I remember my classmates playing football when I was in middle school, but I never learned the rules of the game.  After watching two students play, I had to ask for a rundown of the rules.  It's certainly an interesting game.

We've also assembled our sonobe units into colliding cubes.  For some reason, I have a terrible time showing students how to assemble the colliding cubes.

I guess you might call this a coliding cube and rectangle?  One of my students was trying to put together a 12-piece stellated octahedron.  But, she ended up making this out of 11 pieces  It wasn't what she was going for, but it was cool anyway.  Does this have a name?

My stats class worked together one day to put together this giant sonobe cube.  It's made out of 24 pieces.  The pieces do not form as tight of a cube as I would like.  I would love to hang this from my ceiling with my other origami, but I think it would fall apart within minutes.  Hmm...

A flapping bird courtesy of one of my students.

A tetrahedron made out of a single square of paper.  Not as exciting as I thought it was going to be.

My love for origami grows every year!  It's fun to see my students excited about making and creating things.  They are learning some valuable lessons in following instructions along the way, too!  (And, these are just the origami projects left behind by my students.  They've made all kinds of other cool projects and taken them with them.)


  1. If you love origami, you'll love this TED video:

    1. Putting this on my list of things to watch this summer. Thanks!

  2. These are amazing Sarah! I want to try to make some of these over the summer to use with the kids next year.

    1. Thanks! I have some really creative students this year.

  3. ah!! My students would LOVE this and I am looking for something fabulous to do with these last few weeks of school. ...I noticed that you mentioned printing different sonobe variations from the internet. Are you willing to share that resource? Do you have a go-to website, or do you tend to use more than one resource?
    Smack Dab in the Middle

    1. Here's the link to where I found the origami info. The website is in Spanish, but the links to pdfs of several origami books to download at the bottom are in English.

  4. Those are lovely--It's great when kids get into origami! If you have some stiff paper (cardstock or heavier) I highly recommend trying the curler units:

    1. Thanks! I can't wait to try out the curler units. I have a ridiculous amount of cardstock. I'm excited to find an awesome use for it. Thanks so much for the link!