Origami for Geometry Class with Marbled Patterns Origami Paper


Disclosure: I was sent a pack of this origami paper in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As I mentioned I am returning to the high school math classroom in the fall! One of my goals is to bring more hands-on activities as well as projects to the class. One of the classes I am pretty sure I will be teaching is geometry. I am so excited to be back in the geometry classroom. I am hoping to use origami in the classroom and definitely want to have an origami project in the geometry class. This year's teacher did this, so I am working off her idea and adding my own spin. Today I am going to share two origami tutorials all using a beautiful pack of Origami Paper 500 Sheets Marbled Patterns 6-inch paper. This particular pack of paper is being released in July 2022, but there is a similar pack of 200 sheets already available. 

From the Publisher:

This paper pack contains 500 high-quality, 6-inch origami sheets printed with colorful and elegant marbled patterns.

These stunning origami papers were developed to enhance the creative work of origami artists and paper crafters. The pack contains 12 unique patterns, and all of the papers are printed with coordinating colors on the reverse to provide aesthetically pleasing combinations in origami models that show both the front and back.

This origami paper pack includes:
  • 500 sheets of high-quality origami paper
  • 12 unique patterns
  • Bright, vibrant colors
  • Double-sided color
  • 6 x 6 inch (15 cm) squares
  • Step-by-step instructions for 6 easy-to-fold origami projects

From Me:

I love this paper. It is high quality, and the designs are fun to work with. The designs are less detailed than some papers and this makes it more interesting to see the origami projects!

Origami Projects

Now when I was a full-time math teacher in the past, I also coached a math team at several of the schools I worked. One year the math team was invited to an evening program with Michael LaFosse. He taught the kids (and the adults) to make several origami projects that related to math and in particular geometry. One of them was the transforming ninja star. I am going to share it here with you.

This fun project takes 8 pieces of paper. I decided to use the solid color sides for four of them, so the project was not too busy. The actual 8 modules are easy to make. The fun part of this project is that you can transform it back and forth between the ninja star and the octagon ring. 

Transforming Ninja Star Steps:

1) With the side you do not want showing facing up, fold the paper in half making the square paper into a rectangle. 

2) Open the fold back up and fold the top two corners to the middle fold line. Your paper is now shaped as a pentagon. The two corners should form congruent right triangles as well. Ask kids how we know they are congruent.

3) Fold along the center fold again. Now the paper is a trapezoid. 

4) Rotate paper 180 degrees. Then fold top right corner down to the vertex of the opposite side. The shape will be a parallelogram.

5) Open last fold and half fold to fold that triangle on the inside of the shape.

It should look like this when you are done:

6) Repeat steps 1-5 with the other 7 sheets of paper.

7) Now we will put the ninja star together. Take two of your modules. Place one inside the other. Note that where the folded ends are in my photo (see arrows)!

8) Fold the corners of the outer one over the folded edge of the inner one. Make sure not to fold over both edges or you will not be able to transform your ninja star!

9) Your next module will slide into the opening of the inner piece, and you will repeat steps 7-8 until you have created the octagon ring.

10) Gently slide the edges towards the center to form the ninja star. You will gently slide them out to transform back to the octagon ring.

Origami Flower Ornament

The next project is from There's Math in My Origami by Fumiaki Shingu. I haven't found this origami flower anywhere else in paper. There is a tutorial to get it in fabric here but is different from the paper due to the sewing. To make the full ornament you will need 6 pieces of paper. One flower is also nice though! This lesson is perfect to go with a quadrilateral unit!

Step 1: With solid color up (or the inside color), fold paper in half forming a rectangle. Unfold and fold edges to center line.

2) Fold the short ends together to make a square. Unfold.

3) Fold the short edges to the center fold made in step 2. You now have a square. Unfold back to a rectangle. 
4) You now have a square in the fold lines in the center of your rectangle. We are going to fold the diagonals of this square. It is a good time to review the properties of a square and its diagonals. (Diagonals are perpendicular bisectors; diagonals are congruent; diagonals bisect the base angles, etc.)

Your end result will look like this:

You can discuss how the four triangles are congruent right triangles!
5) Using your fold lines from steps 3 and 4, you will lift the flaps and fold the top into a trapezoid.

It will look like this:

Is a trapezoid in the parallelogram family? Why or why not?

Repeat the fold on the bottom. Are the trapezoids congruent? How do we know?

5) Now you are going to take one of the points of the trapezoid or base angles and fold it into a square. To do this you lift the flap and press down along the crease and fold in.

This is one of the hardest parts of this project and students may need help or to see it more than once!

You fold the other 3 points the same way!

6) For each of the squares fold the inner edges towards the square's diagonal. 

7) For each of the triangles made in step 6, open the fold and squash it down. These will make petals. The shape is also a kite. The petals and the center fold make the diagonals. You can see some of the properties of the kite; diagonals are perpendicular, etc. 

Your final result for this step will look like this:

8) Turn the square shape into an octagon by folding the corners down in the back. 

9) Your flower is complete. If you want to make the ornament, make 5 more!

10) To make the ornament glue the flowers into a cube like shape by gluing the folded triangle corners. Note I used white glue in the picture but found it easier to use a glue stick. If having trouble keeping together use paper clips on the triangles until the glue dries!

Once the glue dries your ornament is complete. You can add a string through the holes created between the flowers.

I love how the marble paper looks as flowers! The paper is a good quality and durable. The prints are fun and look great together!

Class Project

For my project in class, I will have the kids choose an origami project and then create a tutorial video to create their project. They will have to use geometry vocabulary similar to what I have used in these tutorials. You can download my activity here.