March Projects: origami and paper arts

March Projects
1st week: Pot of Gold Pop-Up
2nd week: 3D Shamrock
3rd week: Easy Magazine Box
4th week: Cootie Catcher



Rainbow Pop-Up

To kick start the month of March and St patrick's Day, I show the children how to make a Rainbow Pop-Up. It is very charming, quite easy to make, and the children love coloring the rainbow. I encourage the children to think of a story so that the Rainbow Pop-Up can be converted into a homemade pop-up book.




3D Shamrock

This 3D stand-up clover has a lot of "wow" power yet it is not hard to make. Probably the most difficult part is that the paper gets quite thick and it may be difficult for children to cut through the layers. Nevertheless, in a class of 20 second-graders, only one said that he could not cut through the layers. The remaining 19 children did fine and produced great results.

If you start with a sheet of paper that is 8.5" x 11", you will end up with a clover that is about 2" tall. If you wish to have a larger 3D stand-up clover, use a larger sheet: for example, some teachers have access to large sheets of construction paper.




Easy Magazine Box

This magazine box is a good introduction to the world of origami boxes. It's easy to make and you can make it from any old sheet of paper - even pages ripped from a magazine.

When decorated with shamrocks, it can serve as a St Patrick's day project. I call it "Box of Gold origami craft".



Cootie CatcherCootie Catcher

The last week of March is used to make an origami April's Fool project. Some of you may know this model as a "Fortune Teller", or a "Salt Cellar", but today, we will use it as a "Cootie Catcher" (Fig 1).

To use this classic origami model as a Cootie Catcher, you must draw insects on some of the inner panels but not others. Note: "cooties" are technically the same as "body lice"; however, the term is often used to mean undesirable, small creatures such as bugs or germs.

Start the joke by showing your friend the inside of the Cootie Catcher with no cooties visible (Fig. 2). Use the Cootie Catcher to run through your friend's hair while snapping the Cootie Catcher open and closed. Then, show your friend the Cootie Catcher with the drawn insects visible (Fig 3). You can then declare, "April's Fool!" as you show the two orientations of the Cootie Catcher.

Option: continue the joke by putting the cooties back into your friend's hair: pretend to cough up the bugs onto the floor or back into your friend's head. Then, show the inside of the Cootie Catcher with no bugs: like magic, the bugs are gone.


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