Paperfolding Polyhedrons

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In this activity (on pages 55-66 of PDF), learners fold paper into origami shapes and then combine several identical shapes into a three-dimensional structure. There are clear, colorful photographic step-by-step instructions on how to fold the small shapes and how to assemble them into larger figures. There are also URLs for several origami websites and several recommended origami books.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Origami paper: 4” x 4” or 6” x 6” squares, ½” x 12” strips (for stars)
  • Sample of complete origami constructions: a cube, an octahedron, an icosahedron, lucky stars, etc.
  • Origami diagrams: Modular Polyhedron and Lucky Star diagrams attached to this activity.


  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access