I love introducing Kindergarten and first grade students to the art of origami. It not only exposes them to many folds, such as side to side and corner to corner, but introduces the class to a diverse culture and country and a great discussion on shape characteristics, such as a square having four corners and four sides while a triangle only has three corners and three sides. As tradition holds in my building, kindergarten students learn step by step how to fold a simple origami cat, which is also the exact same steps for the origami dog. The first day of class we discuss that the art of origami originates in Japan and locate Japan on the map in our classroom. I show the students the steps at the demonstration table. I then hand one square origami paper to each child and we walk through the steps together as a class. I walk around and check progress through each step. Lastly, I let each child pick their own color of origami paper and try it on their own. If they need help, they only need to raise their hands. Next class, students will choose which cat or dog head is the best and take the other one home. The origami cat or dog head kept in the classroom will be glued to a 12" x 18" drawing paper and students will add the body, legs, tail and any other details necessary for their cat or dog with pencil first, then oil pastel contour lines, and finally tempera paint cakes (similar to a watercolor resist) to fill. Here are the directions below for the origami cat and dog, if you would like to try it at home. Look to Artsonia to see gallery examples from 2013. To see the step by step directions for the origami cat and dog, check out this previous link here.