Japan - Lessons 2, 3, 4 - Art and History of Paper Arts - Origami, Kirigami, and Notan

Rebecca Smith, Art Instructor, Williamsburg High School, Williamsburg, Pa

Grade Level: 7

Duration: Six Classroom Periods

Objective

The objective of this lesson is to teach the students about the various forms of paper art in Japan, including origami, kirigami, and notan. This lesson will take 6 periods.

PLN strategies used: Origami: written conversation, ticket out the door; Kirigami: thumbs up, pair/share formative assessment, ticket out the door; notan: reflection journal.

PA Art Standards

9.1.A: Elements and Principles in each Art Form

9.1.C: Vocabulary Within each Art Form

9.2.C: Styles and Genre in the Arts

9.2.D: Historical and Cultural Perspectives

9.2.E: Historical and Cultural Impact on Works in the Arts

9.2.F: Vocabulary for Historical and Cultural Context

9.2.G: Geographic regions in the arts

Materials

Procedures days one and two: origami

Day 1:

  1. Before: 5 minutes. Discuss the meaning of origami: ori means fold and gami means paper. Hand out written conversation paper and pencil. Ask students to get into groups of 4 describe the uses of paper in the United States, then share with class the similarities between the American and Japanese uses of paper.
  2. During: 5 minutes. Show website on origami and/or hand out origami instructions. Ask students to look at the visual directions. Decipher origami folding symbols as a class
  3. During: 25 minutes. How to make origami frog and balloon ( or you can choose others). In class demonstration and guided practice. Students will create two origami.
  4. After: 5 minutes. Ticket out the door: write down what the word origami means in English.

Day 2: pair/share/remember/help each other. Students will divide into groups of 4 and help each other make a new origami using handouts. Teacher will assist as needed.

Reflection

This lesson demonstrates the common culture of using paper for both utility and art. The students start by making connections between the American uses of paper and how that might be similar to uses of paper in Japan. The students readily interpreted the visual directions and were successful in making origami. Students who struggled were helped by students that “got it.”

The ticket out the door requires Collins type 2 writing, because the students need the right answer. The ticket out the door is also a formative assessment.

Day 2 of the lesson focuses on the social lens because students are required to help each other to succeed in the lesson.

Procedures days three and four: kirigami

Day 3:

  1. Before: 5 minutes. Discuss the meaning of kirigami: kiri means fold and gami means paper. Thumbs up if they can think of an activity Americans do that involves folding and cutting paper ( making snowflakes). Tell them that snowflakes is a form of kirigami. Quick formative assessment: Steps in making an origami. Pair/share and write the steps of making origami from yesterday. Share with class.
  2. During: 5 minutes. Show website about kirigami and/or hand out kirigami instructions. Ask students to look at the visual directions. Decipher kirigami symbols as a class.
  3. During: 25 minutes. How to make a kirigami heart design. In class demonstration and guided practice. Students will create a kirigami with guided practice and modeling from teacher.
  4. After: 5 minutes. Ticket out the door: write down what the word kirigami means in English.

Day 4: Pair/share/remember/help each other. Students will divide into groups of 4 and make another kirigami using directions provided by the teacher. Students will help each other with teacher guidance.

Reflection

This lesson demonstrates the common culture of using paper for both utility and art. The students start by making connections between the American uses of paper and how that might be similar to uses of paper in Japan. The students readily interpreted the visual directions and were successful in making kirigami. Students who struggled were helped by students that “got it.”

The ticket out the door requires Collins type 2 writing, because the students need the right answer. The ticket out the door is also a formative assessment. The pair/share review of steps for origami is a formative assessment to gauge retention of information.

Day 2 of the lesson focuses on the social lens because students are required to help each other to succeed in the lesson.

Procedures day five and six: notan

Day 5:

  1. Before: 5 minutes. Draw symbol of ying yang on board. Pairs/share and discuss the meaning and share with class. Show examples of notan and talk about the visual symbolism of positive and negative.
  2. During: 30 minutes. Show website about notan. In class demonstration and guided practice: How to make notan collage using cutting and pasting of black and white paper. Students will a notan.
  3. After: 5 minutes. Ticket out the door: write down what the word notan means.

Reflection

This lesson demonstrates the common culture of using paper for both utility and art. The students start by making connections between the American uses of paper and how that might be similar to uses of paper in Japan. The students readily interpreted the visual directions and were successful in making origami. Students who struggled were helped by students that “got it.” This lesson also initiates a discussion about the balance of nature and inner feelings. The students are encouraged to think about what the word balance means to them as a person.

Procedures day six: continuation of notan

Day 6:

  1. Before: 5 minutes. Journal reflection: What does the concept of personal balance mean to you?
  2. During: 5 minutes. Formative assessment: Ask students to orally list the steps in making a notan. Review notan lesson from yesterday using black and white paper to make a balanced collage of positive and negative shapes.
  3. During: 25 minutes. How to make notan using colored paper and more advanced cutting techniques. In class demo and guided practice. Students will work along with teacher to create a more colorful and intricate notan.
  4. After: 5 minutes. Hand in either the black and white or color notan for grading.

Reflection

This lesson demonstrates the common culture of using paper for both utility and art. The students start by making connections between the American uses of paper and how that might be similar to uses of paper in Japan. The students readily interpreted the visual directions and were successful in making origami. Students who struggled were helped by students that “got it.” This lesson also gave the students the opportunity to write and share some thoughts about the importance of balance in personal health.

The journal reflection is an opportunity to include the human, meaning, and language lens in the lesson by allowing the students to reflect and write about a topic that asks for a personal response. This writing prompt uses the reading/writing/talking process of writing and composing text.

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