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.