Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Origami Books for Programming

Origami seems to capture tweens and teens interest in some sort of magical way.  Those that would not sit still for *any* amount of coaxing will sit down for an hour to get a swan or a dragon right if you can just show them the end product and give them step-by-step directions.  While you can find tons of website and tutorials on the Internet, my program room is never where the computers are, so unless I’m printing out multiple copies of every animal we want to make, I need BOOKS.  

When I do an origami program, I have the books sitting around at various tables, with examples of an easy and an intermediate origami in various stages of folding but in the same color.  If one book has an awesome example of a swan, I’ll take it and make four of them in orange paper, but leave three of them in different states of incompleteness so that the tweens and teens can see what the steps are supposed to look like.

You can do origami with normal construction or copier paper- read the instructions carefully to see what *size* you need the paper to be to start with.  If it’s something other than the standard 8 1/2 by 11, then cut the paper to size before the start of the program- you never want to have four lines of kids (MISS, I need a neon green square!  MISS, I need a blue SQUARE! MISS, what kind of fold is that?!?!?!)


Combine this with the series by Tom Angleberger, and you will have an awesome program.  My tween boys are head-over-heels in love with making these, and want to make more than I have the patience for.

This is an awesome book because it really has almost every creature and project you can think of- and uses a lot of different mediums besides paper (dollar bills, etc).  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

This shows all the basic shapes and folds for the beginner, so if you are just starting with origami (or have tweens or teens who are) this is a good starting point.  The different shades on the project illustrations highlight the different sides the paper is supposed to be.

If you or someone you’re working with is technical minded, this is the book for you.  It goes through step-by-step on each different project, and the DVD that accompanies it helps you master the techniques.

I love using this one with tweens and teens, especially when doing upcycle or recycling projects.  It really gets them thinking about everyday materials, and what other ways those things can be used for.

Duct tape! My (Karen) tweens and teens are seriously into Duct tape.  So this book is perfect.

What origami projects do you like to do in your programming?  Share in the comments!

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