- Read about some professional athletes At School in the Field . What does it take to become a professional athlete? Talent? Luck? Hard work?
- What kinds of things do these athletes have to do to prepare? Why do they do these things? Do you think it would be easy or hard to be a professional athlete? Why?
- Have you ever needed to practice? Did someone have to teach you the skills before you could practice them? What did you practice for? How did practicing help you? Do you think that most adults need to practice and train for their jobs, or only athletes?
- You are going to do an experiment to see if training and practice will make a difference in the production of origami dogs. If you are unfamiliar with origami, it is the Japanese art of paper folding. See Origami for background information about this art form.
- Take four pieces of square paper and have a friend help you. Try to create the origami dog while your friend watches the clock, time how long it takes to make the dog, and write the time down on the Origami Dog Time Trials activity sheet. If it takes you more than 5 minutes, stop and trade places with your partner. Make sure you keep your dog regardless of how complete it is. Again, stop the activity after five minutes.
- Complete the "1st Try" section of Origami Dog Time Trials.
- Go to Origami Dog . Read the directions, making the folds as show on the website.
- Take a few minutes to practice your skill and make two more dogs.
- Get back into groups of two. Go through step 2 again, and make sure to write the time down on the Origami Dog Time Trials activity sheet and save the final product.
- Switch jobs and repeat.
- Complete the Origami Dog Time Trials activity sheet, "2nd Try" section and final questions.
- Were you able to complete the job faster after you had instructions and practice? Was it easier?
- Compare the dog from the first test with the dog from the last test. Which dog looked more like the sample, the dog you made with no instructions or the one you made after they had practiced? Why?
- Would training and practice help adults do their jobs better? Why?
- Imagine there was a factory for making origami dogs. Who would earn more, the worker who made dogs the speed and quality of the first test or the worker who made dogs the speed and quality of the last test? Why? Which worker would you hire if you were the boss?
- Who could make more origami dogs in a day, the worker who made dogs the speed and quality of the first test or the worker who made dogs the speed and quality of the last test? Why?
Explain verbally or in writing why training and practice are important. How do they improve the work that a person can do?
- Ask your parents about ways they train and practice to get better at their job and be prepared to share these stories with the class.
- Decorate your origami dogs and display them in the calssroom. Practice making other origami animals shown at this Origami Dog website .
- Watch a video of the making of an Origami dog. Brainstorm what you can learn from watching "an expert" do what you have been practicing.