June 08, 2022 4 min read
Are you looking for a classroom activity that can be transferable to several subjects and potential projects? A resource that covers many themes, offering students a confidence-building, tactile way of learning about geometry, recycling, creativity, drama, character study and so much more. Papercraft is a versatile, holistic, and integrated activity that inherently builds upon multiple skills through the process. Since 2013, we’ve been designing and supplying templates that enable people of all ages and skill levels to turn ordinary waste materials into extraordinary masks and models, regardless of previous craft experience. We invite you to explore the possibilities with us and to fortify your curriculum with tools that will stimulate young minds, building the confidence to implement positive change along the way. Let’s get started.
"Two weeks of work with twenty-four pupils. Your masks are so great to work with. I have millions of ideas." - Benoit-claude Lafay
Benoit-claude Lafay has been making our masks and facilitating fascinating creative craft projects with his students for some time now. With his early years classes, he’s brought characters from books to life, made murals and taught the joys of creative craft through hands-on workshops that provide the kids with an enriching new experience each time. It’s clear through our correspondence that Papercraft is an effective vehicle for enabling young minds to grow both individually and collaboratively, sewing seeds essential to future success, wherever life’s path might take them.
Being open to new experiences and adapting a flexible approach to problem solving is core to both the arts and science. There’s been quite a lot of discussion on the internet about whether creativity is essential to both. Our take is that a playful approach to ideas creates a positive association with problem solving and making things, whether it’s a suspension bridge, or a beautiful abstract painting. Both projects require the same exploration, experimentation, and dedication. None of this would be achievable without the drive to complete the project, and we believe this drive comes from having fun playing with ideas.
Papercraft projects are rich in cross-curricular scope. At the very same time a student is learning how geometric shapes take form and support a 3D structure, they are inherently thinking of the science of engineering whilst engaged in a fun, hands-on project. This builds positive associations with STEM subjects and sparks curiosity in those subjects where once there might have been apprehension. This can work the other way for those that might think of themselves as non-creatives, awakening new expressive talents the might not have knew existed before. In either scenario this cross-pollination of creativity within practical applications will supply the tools and drive necessary to accomplish goals in many scenarios throughout life.
Because our templates are provided digitally and the masks and models you build are intended to be made from waste materials, they are a great vehicle for further discussion about the importance of conservation, reuse and recycling. For example, if you are building our new giant Crab Claw or Bird Models with a class, there will be plenty of time to point out how ordinary materials can be turned into extraordinary objects and also an opportunity to learn more about the amazing animals they are building in real time. Children will naturally be curious, particularly when they have made a beautiful animal with their own hands.
We've enjoyed running (and facilitating remotely) a number of workshops and campaigns across the globe; from our most recent GRUE cardboard labyrinth that we built entirely from waste cardboard with our local community last year, to the World Wide Waddle, in which we deployed over 3,000 Penguins across the globe with Greenpeace for their #ProtectAntarctic initiative. When building with students, you can talk to them about the importance of peaceful activism, raising awareness about environmental and social issues through art and organised demonstrations, inspiring them to initiate change for the greater good.
With budget cuts to the arts across the board, drama teachers and theatre students are always looking to find cost-effective ways to make rehearsals and productions the best that they can be. When Cheryl Stapleton of Learning Through Theatre highlighted that a papercraft Commedia Dell’ Arte Set did not exist and would be a vital educational tool, we were excited to learn more from her expertise and make these amazing 16th Century iconic characters come to life. This classic style of drama usually involves expensive hand-crafted leather masks, so this set will prove invaluable to drama students and departments of all sizes without exhausting valuable resources. With the Pantalones of our time cutting off funds to the arts at every opportunity, we hope this proves useful to drama teachers around the world.
Look at these amazing students - thank you Stacy Stratton for sharing your class experience
Having spouses and loved ones as teachers in our own families, we understand (as much as you can without actually being a teacher) the challenges educators of all kinds face. We hope you find something in this article inspiring and we are always here to support you in any activity you wish to discuss. We'd love to hear what you have in mind, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with your ideas. With a little imagination and the right tools, we believe everyone, no matter where they are from, can make a difference and we are keen to do what we can together to make it happen. To start, explore our Classroom Resources Collection and we can't wait to hear from you.