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Puzzling with Paper

In this feature, we bring together a range of paper-folding tasks, which offer opportunities for mathematical exploration.  The article outlines how paper folding can help learners to deepen their understanding of geometry, to become more fluent with mathematical language, to persevere and become more curious about something they see.

Many of the tasks below are of a similar format whereby initially learners are challenged to visualise the shape they will get when they fold a piece of paper along the creases shown in a photo.  They are then invited to make those shapes in different sizes, create a pattern and then arrange the patterns in different ways to make particular designs.

We hope you will be inspired to introduce your learners to the world of paper folding and look forward to receiving photos of their creations.
Purposeful Paper Folding link

Purposeful Paper Folding 

Stage: 1 and 2

In this article for primary teachers, Fran describes her passion for paper folding as a springboard for mathematics.

Paper Partners link

Paper Partners live

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you describe a piece of paper clearly enough for your partner to know which piece it is?

Paper Patchwork 1 link

Paper Patchwork 1 live

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?

Paper Patchwork 2 link

Paper Patchwork 2 live

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Have a go at making a few of these shapes from paper in different sizes. What patterns can you create?

Folding Flowers 1 link

Folding Flowers 1 live

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?

Folding Flowers 2 link

Folding Flowers 2 live

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.

Regular Rings 1 link

Regular Rings 1 live

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?

Regular Rings 2 link

Regular Rings 2 live

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What shape is made when you fold using this crease pattern? Can you make a ring design?