I use Origami Videos on half days or days right before a vacation. I precut squares from copy paper, and students follow along. I encourage students to help each other, and if they lose their way, set it aside and wait for the next figure. I grade their work, but not on success, but the attempt. If there was time for 4 figures, even if you have 4 folded scraps, I record 100%.
The other method is to teach a core group of Origami proficient students, then have them instruct their peers. This is great if you are trying to fold many cranes for a display or paper balloons to fill with candy for a fundraiser.
However, have you ever tried to open an Origami figure and note the crease patterns? They are poetic geometry!
Kevin Box is another artist reinterpreting the ancient art, but in a sculpture medium. You can see his work HERE. (Thanks for the tip AJY!)
Morris' work inspired me to give it a try with the classic Origami crane. I used 6 colors varying shades of blue, silver, and gray. though my placement of colors was rather arbitrary.
Transferring the design took time and the use of rulers and protractors to measure angles, certainly a valuable exercise in the art classroom. Start with the longest lines, and move on to shorter and shorter ones. There is a lot of opportunity here to play with color transparency, creating unusual color wheels, color theory explorations, and more.
As you know however I am not a fan of "monkey see--monkey do" artwork in the classroom. So how does a teacher personalize this concept? I'll offer a few ideas here, but if you think of something, PLEASE comment below as well.
Students could spend a day in the computer lab watching origami tutorials, then make a painting based on the fold patterns of creatures they make. They could look up animals they feel have similar qualities to themselves (Owl=Smart, Cheetah=Fast, Sloth=Lazy, Turtle=Shy etc.) and find those videos, diagrams, or folding patterns. Students can choose Origami for their own level of ability. There is no need to do work that is very complex.
Students can also search "folding patterns" in Google Images, and many come up! "Origami crease pattern" also offers more results.
It might be fun to have students fold and unfold paper to create abstract patterns that can be transferred to to a canvas or paper for an abstract work of art. I found that if you fold the paper to a narrow point and crease it, you can form letters like the "J" below. Students could try to make paper initials of their name and pick the most interesting one for a painting project. These few ideas ensure that students will have unique artworks.
The lines I made were done with painter's tape (blue) then painting with matt medium (clear paint) to seal the tape. (Work it into the paint edges and corners - let dry. Then paint the shape in. This gave exceptionally clean lines without colors oozing out from under the tape. The sample below is how it looks up close, but my canvas was pre-painted blue, so the clear you see is on a light blue canvas.
Tape should be pulled off as close to 90 degrees from the surface as possible. Student grade paints may need more than one coat to be opaque if that is something you desire in the work.
In the first example I swapped out the dark green for purple and I feel it "works" better visually. The purple looks like a transition from blue to red but still "reads" as darkest hue. If you have access to a computer lab, having students pre-plan color choices might be useful integration of technology.
In the second version, I have organized it a bit like a color wheel. I chose RBY but I could have used CMYK as well. In the third, a grayscale version. In the last, a monochromatic study.
If you teach pre-K through 3rd grade, the book "Chris and The Magic Shirt" is a great introduction to Origami with 9 lesson ideas inside. You can find it HERE and get 30% off when you order direct. It's on Amazon too though without a discount.