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Emily Voigtlander

Origami and Japanese Culture

Grades: 5th Grade, 4th Grade, 3rd Grade
Subjects: History, Social Studies

Student Instructions

Experiment with origami and share what you've learned about Buddhism and Japanese culture. 1. Choose a piece of paper. Then work with a partner to follow the instructions to fold a paper crane. Tap on the photo of the instructions to expand them and view them larger or visit this website to see step by step instructions: https://www.origamiway.com/origami-crane.shtml. 2. After you're done folding, take a photo of your paper crane. 3. Use the mic to share one fact that you've learned about Buddhism or Japanese culture. 4. Tap the check to add your photo to your journal.

Teacher Notes (not visible to students)

This activity is designed to accompany a discussion of Buddhism or Japanese culture. Buddhism is a religion that is not based on the idea of God, but is more of a way of life. Buddhism is the 4th largest religion in the world. It is practiced by about one third of Japanese people today, and has been part of their culture since 600 BC. Buddhism focuses on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama who was born around 563 BCE. Siddhartha believed in a powerful spirit force, but not a god. Buddhists respect all life and encourage nonviolence and kindness. Japanese origami began during the 6th century. Buddhist monks carried paper to Japan and the first origami was used for religious ceremonial purposes only, due to the high price of paper. As paper became more affordable, people began to create origami for art and decoration. One of the most famous origami designs is the crane. After World War II, the origami crane became a symbol for peace.