EDTC 300, Learning Project

Learning Project: Baseline

Ori-gimme Origami

Welcome to my EDTC300 Learning Project. I am so excited about my project because this is something I have wanted to learn how to do for a very long time and I think it will be a lot of fun! I have chosen to learn how to make origami…do origami…fold origami…? I’m not quite sure if origami is a noun or a verb. Better look that up….

Okay so it sounds like the word “origami” comes from the Japanese words for “folding” (ori) and “paper” (kami) but in most descriptions it appears to be used as a noun so for my purposes in this project, I will use it as a noun as well.

The reason I chose to try my hand (quite literally as it’s all done with the hands) at making origami is because of a book that I very clearly remember my teacher reading in grade 1 or 2. It was called Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr (who, I just found out, hails from Kamsack, Saskatchewan). The book is a telling of the true story of Sadako Sasaki from Hiroshima who becomes ill with leukemia after the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima. She sets out to fold 1,000 paper cranes because there is a Japanese legend that says you will have a wish granted if you fold 1,000 paper cranes. In Coerr’s book, Sadako dies as a result of her illness before she is able to complete all 1,000 paper cranes. Her classmates continue to fold cranes until they reach 1,000.

A statue now stands of Sadaki in the Hiroshima Peace Park and paper cranes have become synonymous with Sadaki and peace around the world.

Children's memorial

“Children’s memorial” by Daa Nell is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

I remember this story so vividly and it is something that I have thought about many times throughout my life. I own little origami crane earrings (in addition to the cutest hummingbirds) and am always on the lookout for paper cranes. 

I found this teeny tiny paper crane at work one day. It now sits atop my curtain rod watching over me…isn’t it adorable peeking out at me?!?

My experience with origami is pretty limited. I have a vague memory of my class learning how to fold paper cranes after we read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes but not much past that.

I was pretty excited to start on this project so I didn’t waste any time gathering my supplies. Luckily origami is relatively inexpensive…all that’s really needed is squares of paper. Some online research told me that kami paper is the best kind but sadly Michael’s did not have it. But they had lots of other kinds!

So many to choose from…

I also read online that 6” x 6” is a good size so decided to pick out a pad of this size. Luckily this paper is relatively inexpensive (plus the weekly Michael’s coupon helped…never pay full price for anything at Michael’s! There’s always a coupon!!).

I think once I progress in origami, I might have to get some bigger paper as it sounds like more complicated pieces require bigger sheets (but I might be over optimistic how quickly I’ll progress). For now I’ll see how 6” x 6” works and go from there.

Next steps: find a good tutorial video to teach me to fold the infamous paper crane and get folding! I’m going to start with YouTube and see what I can find. A quick Google search leads me to believe there are a multitude of videos and online tutorials on many different origami shapes so I’m excited to explore. It would seem the sky (and my ability level) is the limit. I’m nervous to even see what a Pinterest search brings me because if experience has taught me anything, it’s the dangers of the rabbit-hole that is Pinterest! I am going to try to slowly increase the difficulty of the shapes I fold each week. My goal is to eventually create a multi-shape piece that I could potentially display in my home.

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