Nonfiction Wednesday -March 16, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2016 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.


Title:  Learn to Fold Origami Zoo Animals
Author: Katie Gillespie
Publisher: Av2 by Weigl
Publication Date: 2013

My Two Cents:  This week’s nonfiction title might seem like a bit of an odd just, but stick with me here. I’m hosting an kid’s origami program at my library, and since I’m absolutely terrible at paper folding I thought I’d do a bit of research beforehand to hone my skills. Learn to Fold Origami Zoo Animals is a pretty nifty little book because of the way it uses origami to introduce kids to all sorts of animal-related nonfiction content in a unique way. Six different animals are featured in this origami guide, and each animal gets a two-page spread of facts and figures, as well as detailed instructions on how to fold a paper version of the animal. The book also includes a knowledge quiz, a fact game, a glossary (which they’ve titled “Key Words”), and web links for additional information.

If you ask a group of children at a Spring Break program if they’d like to learn facts about animals you’d likely get a fair number of groans and frowns. Books like Learn to Fold Origami Zoo Animals can help you seamlessly integrate additional information into an origami program in a fun and natural way. While learning to make an origami elephant, for example, you might share interesting tidbits and fascinating factoids about this mighty animal – did you know, for example, that an elephant’s trunk averages roughly 5 feet in legnth, which is longer than many kids are tall? Or that elephants like to slather themselves in mud because it acts like a natural sunscreen and helps prevent them from getting a sunburn?

The benefits of origami for children have been well-documented – it has even been called a “STEAM Engine” because of the way it can be used to teach concepts relating to science, technology, engineering, art and math. Origami can also be a very calming exercise, encouraging children to slow down, examine a series of detailed instructions, and carefully proceed step by step through a project from start to finish. Now you can incorporate even more learning opportunities into your origami programs by infusing them with captivating pieces of related information.

10 thoughts on “Nonfiction Wednesday -March 16, 2016

  1. I think by showing how it relates to STEM, is very smart! It’s funny to see some of the fun things to do with kids that makes them think in new ways isn’t always something new – origami has been around for years! Glad you’re able to use it!


    • Isn’t that the truth! There’s sometimes a bit of an unfortunate feeling that everything has to be new and shiny and high-tech to teach kids about STEM, but in reality there are a lot of great material and resources out there that go back generations! Sometimes doing something with your hands is just the best way to learn.


  2. This sounds fun, Jane, and how great to integrate the creating with the facts for the animals, too. I have an Origami with post-it notes book which my older students loved. It is fun, but I must admit I’m not very good at it. Some of my students were whizzes!


  3. Last month, I watched this documentary called “Between the Folds” and it’s about the art of paper folding. This book looks like an amazing origami resource for kids!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s