14 Mar 2012

Ideas for kids - Origami

Jack Trelawny's Story House - Ideas for kids - Origami
Akira Yoshizawa with some of his origami models

Akira Yoshizawa (14 March 1911 – 14 March 2005) was a 'grandmaster of origami', which means he was one of the best ever at making models from paper. He said he had probably created more than 50,000 models. Only a few hundred of the designs were put into his 18 books. Today, 14 March 2012, a Google Doodle has been made to celebrate the 101st anniversary of his birth.

Mr Yoshizawa started folding paper as a very young boy. Later, when it was his job to teach people geometry, he used origami as a teaching tool to make the lessons easier to understand. How cool is that?!

To get started on a story, it's always useful to first ask the important questions...

Who is going to be in the story? (Characters)
Where is the story going to be? (Setting - Place)
When is the story going to take place? (Setting - Time)
What is going to happen? (Plot)

You could answer some of the questions from Mr Yoshizawa's real life, to give you ideas for the story before you start writing. You could get some information about Mr Yoshizawa's real life from doing a search on the internet. Don't forget to search 'Images' as well so you can see some great pictures of the origami models he created. Looking at lots of pictures can often give you good ideas for a story. There are some great videos to watch, which show you how to make some of the origami models. You could ask your teacher or another adult to find a good origami video for you.
Now that I've found out lots of the real facts about Mr Yoshizawa's life, I've started my story below. I've made a 'working title' (which I can always change later if I think of a better one). I've also decided what type of story it's going to be - it's going to be a fairytale. And I've found out what is usually included in fairytales, such as, special words at the beginning, an innocent good person (hero), talking animals or objects, a royal person (like an emperor or a queen), some magic, monsters (dragons, ogres, creatures), a very evil villain, and a 'twist' or two to surprise the person reading it. I never worry that I'm getting all the words right to start with because I know that I can change things later. The important thing is to get started on writing something that I like reading back to myself. If I like it, the chances are there will be some other people who like it as well! So, here goes...


Akira and the Origami Monsters

A long time ago, in a land of many mountains called, Japan, there lived a boy who made monsters by folding paper into shapes.

Akira had hundreds of monsters, and they all lived with him in his bedroom. Some of the monsters sat on the shelves, others stood on the floor, whilst those with wings were suspended on threads from the ceiling. A few of the monsters, those that Akira was least proud of, were hidden away in an old wooden box under his bed.

Akira was very happy at school and a very good student, but, every afternoon, he ran home as fast as he his legs would carry him, so that he could make as many new monsters as possible before bedtime.

Then, one stormy day, something happened when Akira came home from school that would change his life forever...


You might like to continue this story using my beginning or start a completely different story of your own with a different title. If you chose to continue this story, do you think an evil villain might use magic to make the monsters come alive? If so, would the monsters in the box feel cross with Akira for making them live in the dark box under the bed?

Whatever you choose to do, I think a really important thing is to have fun doing it.

Try having a smile on your face when you are writing about good characters or happy events, and a nasty frown on your face when you're writing about evil characters or terrible events.

See you next time in the Story House.

Happy writing... and reading!