Symbols and Bases

Origami symbols are a series of lines and arrows which instruct you how to fold a piece of paper into an origami model. Different authors will use slightly different notations so it's worthwhile to look at a few styles to get the gist of things. Typically, a solid line represents the edge of the paper. A dashed line represents a valley fold whereas a dash-dot-dot line represents a mountain fold. These links have great visuals:
A series of folds together produces a "base". Traditional origami models sometimes start with the same base. An author can describe as many bases he/she desires, but there are only a handfull of bases which are commonly used by all authors.
            Kite Base
            Fish Base
            Waterbomb Base
            Preliminary Base
            Windmill Base
            Bird Base
            Frog Base

Note: it is not necessary for young children to know the bases. They will see the similarity once they've folded enough models. Suffice that you, the teacher, be aware that bases exist and that some books and diagrams will refer to them.

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