Friday, April 22, 2011

Origami Frogs Speak in Poems

Basket full of origami frogs!

What to do during the rainy month of April? National Poetry Month? If you have a pile of square sheets of colored paper try folding poems!

Last week I received a photo of a basket full of frogs. Origami frogs! It came from Ms. Wolf and her class of second graders at Valentine Hills Elementary in Arden Hills, MN. Along with the photo were poems written by Ms. Wolf's students.

 In her email, Ms. Wolf wrote: "Although I had read Fold Me a Poem in the fall, I reread the story and then we made frogs and wrote poems about them... I had the frogs "whisper" secret wishes to the kids, which they then wrote on pieces of paper and rolled up into the frogs mouths - something I saw you do at the IRA conference a few years ago." 

When the author, Kristine O'Connell George wrote the poems for our book, Fold Me a Poem, she was inspired by observing a young boy folding paper animals all on his own. The sound of the paper folding, the different shapes the animal took as it was gradually folded into life, and finally the personality it took on with the help of the boy's imagination, all became the voices of her poems in the book. When I illustrated the poems, I had to teach myself to fold origami by checking out every origami book at my local library. And I will tell you, when you fold paper animals, the paper does indeed whisper to you if you listen! If you are interested in folding paper frogs or a dog, a rooster, bird, or snake, go here. And if you are interested in learning a little more how to write a poem to go with your paper animal, go here. Or you can read the poems below from Ms. Wolf's Second Graders. Enjoy!

Origami Frogs!
(Poems by 2nd graders in Ms. Wolf’s Class )







By Leo

* * * * *

If my

frog could

talk it

would say,

“hi my friends.”

By Rotho

* * * * *

Origami Frog

I was

just a

piece of

paper and

now look

what I am!


Thank you

for making me.  A

piece of

paper into

a frog!

By Anna

* * * * *


I’m a

paper frog

with my

paper frog


By Hannah L.

* * * * *

A Piece of Paper

I’m a piece

of paper.

I do not

do much.

All I do

is sit



I’m a frog!



By Katie

* * * * *

Fast Frog


I’m a

real frog!

I’m jumpin’ ‘round!




By Michael