Here’s a tutorial page on what I consider to be the absolutely hands-down best first pop-up to teach to students of any age: the Pop-Up House.
Sometimes I will work with a class of kindergarten students just once, so I try to teach these youngsters something that they can do not only when I am there guiding them, but, also something that they can do on their own. This little house shape fits the bill exactly.
Here are the challenges with very young: it’s important that, when folding the paper in half that the crease is sharp, meaning that it is folded really well. It’s great if the paper is folded evenly, but that part is less important than the tightness of the crease. Sometimes I will pre-fold the paper for young students, but I seem to do that less and less. If I have the time, it’s worth slowing down to teach these kids how to make a good, even fold. Many five-year-old aren’t ready to notice or care how evenly the paper is folded, but some of the students are ready, and it’s really fun to see them work carefully and successfully.
Although this is a house shape there seems to be no end to the different ways children embellish their handiwork: it’s a crown, a rocket ship, the back of a dinosaur. Next post here will be a sampling of some of the many ways young people play with this structure.
One last thought for now: I generally don’t do much teaching around the holidays, but it seems to me that this could be a great idea for holiday card. Decorate the house with lights. Maybe someone is on the roof, or there’s something special in the night sky. Or the family is gathered at the house, there could be candles in the windows. Lots of ways to go with this.