This lesson stimulates students’ thinking with stories about rigorous athlete training illustrating the importance of training and practice. After students read the story, they will experiment to see how instruction and practice improves their ability to make an origami dog.
This lesson stimulates students thinking with stories about rigorous athlete training illustrating the importance of training and practice. After students read the story, they will experiment to see how instruction and practice improves their ability to make an origami dog.
- Visit Jet Li, the martial artist . Tell the students they will be reading about the hard work of one athlete. What does it take to become a professional athlete? Talent? Luck? Hard work?
- Paraphrasing the Jet Li article to highlight the hard work and dedication he exemplifies will help the students best relate what Jet Li does to prepare to what they will be doing to prepare. What kinds of things does he have to do to prepare? Why does he 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?
- Explain that students are going to do an experiment to see if training and practice will make a difference in the production of origami dogs. [NOTE: if you or your students are unfamiliar with origami, it is the Japanese art of paper folding. See Origami for background information about this art form.]
- To experiment to discover if practice and instruction improve productivity.
- To correctly follow written and/or verbal instructions.
The Official Jet Li Website: This webiste provides a great biography of the martial artist Jet Li's life.
Joseph Wu Origami: This site offers background information about the Japanese art of paper folding.
Activity Worksheet: Origami Dog Time Trials.
Origami Pets: This website gives instructions on how to create your own Origami cat and dog.
Origami Dog: This video shows how to create an Origami dog.
- Show students the origami dog you have prepared beforehand. Give each student four pieces of square paper. Divide students into groups of two. Have one student try to recreate the origami dog you made with no instructions from you. The second student should watch the clock, time how long it takes the first student to make the dog, and write the time down on the Origami Dog Time Trials activity sheet. If students have not completed the dog after 5 minutes, stop them and have them trade jobs and repeat. Make sure the first student keeps his or her dog regardless of how complete it is. Again, stop the activity after five minutes. [NOTE: For the purposes of this activity, students do not need to be able to time each other with seconds. Half of a minute is precise enough.]
- Have students complete the "1st Try" section of Origami Dog Time Trials.
- With students, go to Origami Dog. Read the directions out loud as students follow along, making the folds as show on the website.
- Give students a few minutes to practice their new skill. Have them make two more dogs. Allow students to look at the directions on the website and ask for help from you or other students as they practice.
- Put students back in their groups of two. Have one student make the origami dog while the second student times him or her. Make sure the students write the time down on the Origami Dog Time Trials activity sheet and save the final product.
- Have students switch jobs and repeat.
- Have students complete the Origami Dog Time Trials activity sheet, "2nd Try" section and final questions.
- Were students able to complete the job faster after they 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 they made with no instructions or the one they 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?
- Have students ask their parents about ways they train and practice to get better at their job and share these stories with the class.
- Let students decorate their origami dogs and display them in your room. Practice making other origami animals shown at this Origami website.
- Students can watch a video of making an Origami dog. Have them brainstorm what they can learn from watching "an expert" do what they have been practicing.
Have students explain verbally or in writing why training and practice are important. How do they improve the work that a person can do?
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