Sonobe Origami Polyhedra – Links
Instructions for Making Origami Polyhedra
Instructions for Making Other Origami Figures
Mathematics in Origami
Using Origami to Teach Standard Mathematics Topics
Origami as a Field of Mathematics
Applications of Mathematical Origami
History of the Sonobe Module
Using Origami to Teach Math
On-Line Lesson Plans
- Daniel Meyer and Jeanine Meyer have a beautiful and extensive web page on
using origami to teach mathematics.
They include theoretical discussion of educational uses of origami, general
strategies for teaching origami and tying it to mathematics, and many
origami folding instructions and lesson plans.
- Bill Wagner has a lesson plan that uses simple paper folding to
develop concepts relating to
Love and Bill Haneberg created a lesson plan that brings geometry,
origami, and geology together. They give instructions for creating
paper tetrahedra from envelopes, geology themed templates, and
assembly instructions for making a neat kaleidocycle. If you don't
want to use a geology theme, you might let the students color their
own kaleidocycle designs using the template shape.
- Barbara Pearl gives a simple
origami whale lesson
that involves basic mathematical vocabulary and some geometric thinking.
This page also includes an address where you can write to receive a free
copy of 101 Ways to Use Origami in the Classroom.
Ideas for Using Origami to Teach Mathematics
- Juergen Koeller
has a web page with lots of fun math activities. One of these shows how to make an
and then gives a mathematical discussion about the ratio of the side of the
final cube to the length of the side of the original square. This is then
compared with another way of getting a cube out of a square and with a
theoretical limit. Developing this line of thinking could result in a nice
- Eric M. Anderson has an extensive origami web page that includes a discussion on
using origami to teach math.
This page mentions many specific math concepts that come up in origami, and
gives lots of leads for designing your own lesson plan or class project. He
gives examples of mathematical origami questions in geometry, topology, and
combinatorics. These questions do not require mathematical background, but
they do require students who are tenacious problem solvers.
- Origami USA has some helpful
tips for teaching origami.
Benefits of Origami in the Classroom
Books and Other Resources for Teachers
- Tom Hull has written a
wonderful book of mathematical origami lessons called Project
Origami. Although the lessons are designed for college
students, many of the activities work well for younger students as
- The AIMS Education Foundation has published Paper
Square Geometry: The Mathematics of Origami. This book is
primarily intended for high school students, but includes activities
that younger students would also enjoy.
- David Mitchell has
several books on using origami to teach math. Exploring
Mathematical Ideas with Origami provides a reference for teaching
problem solving, ratios, and geometry. It includes instructions for
making beautiful origami tesselations and explores mathematical ideas
in great depth. Paperfolding Puzzles features lots of neat
hands-on brain teasers. Mathematical Origami shows how to
construct a variety of origami polyhedra. This site also includes some
free sample articles on mathematical origami that you can download.
- Betsy Franco's
Unfolding Mathematics with Unit Origami
is a book of lesson plans for algebra and geometry students in grades 7-11.
This book includes discussions of algebraic and angle relationships,
symmetry in 2 and 3 dimensions, and other concepts. It includes teaching
strategies, suggestions for assessing student work, and possible extensions
of the activities.
- Barbara Perl's program,
Math in Motion: Origami in the Classroom K-8,
offers workshops and books that use origami to make learning come to life.
This program includes educational objectives in subject areas across the
curriculum. Among the mathematical objectives are developing fundamental
geometric ideas and spatial intuition; teaching mathematical vocabulary;
learning about symmetry, congruence, and angles; practicing fractions,
ratios, proportions, and measurement; and developing problem solving and
critical thinking skills.
- The book
Paper Folding: A Fun and Effective Method for Learning Math
includes a curriculum appropriate for a wide range of ages. Math topics
covered include geometry, conic sections, isometries, fractions,
tessellations, tangram puzzles, and symmetries.
- A great deal of work has been done on the use of origami in education and
therapy. Tom Hull has posted
from a 1991 conference on this topic.