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Origami Programs with Michael LaFosse
at Schools, Libraries & Museums!

Author and artist, Michael LaFosse is one of the most seasoned and respected presenters of the paper arts. He began teaching origami in 1969, and soon added lessons in papermaking, and paper sculpting to individuals and groups. He can tailor instructional and/or entertaining programs to people of all ages and abilities, from beginner to master level.

We use origami in the classroom to augment various curricula, from "K through G"! We enjoy working with teachers and students to prepare tailored presentations that stimulate discussion and learning. Origami's hands-on approach really gets students' attention. The lessons are always enjoyable and memorable. Follow-up exercises and challenges extend the benefits beyond the initial program.

There are hundreds of origami subjects, ranging from cranes, mythology, mathematics, geometry, algebra, biology, zoology and many cultural subjects.

We have used origami within lectures on World cultures, music, international geography, geology, organic chemistry, statistical analysis, critical thinking, packaging design, aeronautics, abstract art, architecture, materials evaluation, communication, public speaking and teamwork management.

We use origami and "Story-Gami" to help teach teachers to teach, and otherwise make their communications more effective. Teachers consult with us about presentation techniques and program development. We can bring these programs to your school to help your teaching staff.

Program Rates (2011-2017)

Local programs, within a 20 minute drive from 170 Margin St., Haverhill, MA:

Programs within a 1-hour drive from Haverhill Massachusetts, but beyond 20 minutes:

DISCOUNT BLOCKS for Schools within a 1 hour drive from Haverhill Massachusetts:

Programs beyond a 1-hour drive and all Out-of-State Program rates:

All materials are included in the program fees. Advanced origami, for Master Classes and papermaking programs, will be charged an additional materials fee - we will quote, based upon materials description and volume.

Some program suggestions include:

Art & Math

Origami forms and methods make excellent tools for exploring and explaining many kinds of arithmetic and mathematical concepts - one need not have any knowledge of math to do origami. Folded paper designs can be an eloquent way of demonstrating mathematical and geometric principles. Since arithmetic and math are subjects that all grades have in common, it is a great platform to allow all grades to participate.

The areas of study can include: counting; computational skills; fractions; percentages; geometric shapes; square area; volume; set theory; statistics; trigonometry; algebraic expressions; plane geometry; solid geometry; Pythagorean theorem... the list goes on and on.

The sculptural products of each class can be displayed and appreciated as art. Creativity in choice of color, size, invention (new designs) and implementation (mobiles, posters, stabiles...) will ensure that the students will be challenged.


Many people assume that origami is strictly Japanese, but the paper folding arts have never been limited to Japan. Wherever there has been paper there has been paper folding. Beginning with China, each country has developed various kinds of papers for special purposes, whether utilitarian (wrapping and packaging), writing, or art.

It is interesting and valuable to learn how paper was used in different places and in different times; how important paper has been, and continues to be, in the flourishing of cultures and nations. Widespread communication, with the help of paper, was a critical step for mankind's move to the modern world. Electronic communications and the computer came later, but it is doubtful that they could have ever been realized without paper. If anything, the electronic communication revolution has accelerated the development of origami as art by putting so many designers and creators in direct and easy contact with each other.

Students will learn about paper, its production and properties, and the major places and times of its development. We us origami models, representing different cultures and times. The subject of these designs prompts short research and writing projects. Origami's engaging quality sharpens interest in the subject, and each student is encouraged to discover and present a different aspect of the topic. The origami art also helps to illustrate the topic. Students would be required to write a short piece about the origami and its connection to the project.

The Natural World

There are many plant and animal subjects in the origami repertoire: pond life; the Arctic; desert life; birds; mushrooms; the leaves of plants; pollination; the butterfly and metamorphosis are just some of the possibilities.

The origami subject is usually tied to something that the students are studying, or have already studied, in class.

Cultural Customs

Many countries, from ancient times to modern, have unique and charming customs, and many origami projects illustrate these. In Japan, how you wrap a gift can have important implications; in Spain, there is a little paper "pet" that everyone knows, the pajarita; beginning in the United States, and now prevalent throughout the world, the "Origami Holiday Tree" is an annual favorite. Students could learn about traditions and each grade can make up their own, new tradition, using origami as the basis for some kind of inter-grade exchange.

Cooperation / Communication skills

There are modular origami (multi-piece construction) projects appropriate to each grade level. Students will fold multiples of origami unit "puzzle pieces" and assemble them into the final display piece. Some works can be wall hangings, other could be mobiles. Students will work together and critique workmanship. Some may be required to teach others how to fold the units.

Critical Thinking skills

We tailor the presentation of origami instruction to develop and promote critical thinking, which will include visual and verbal problem solving, using origami puzzle models, logic and adaptation. Teachers love this unit! It can be adapted to all ages and it does not require math skills to be successful.

Abstract Art

Origami models are abstractions of the subjects they represent. The degree of abstraction can vary. Students will learn about abstract art and will practice making origami abstract sculptures. We also present, in slide and in person, masterful examples of origami art, which emphasize the elements of this new and exciting style of origami art.

Master Classes

We are often engaged to teach at origami conventions and groups of advanced origami students, worldwide. These classes are designed for those who are already well-versed in the basics of origami art and design, but who wish to further their skills and understanding of the art. This includes the appreciation and preparation of fine papers. Michael and Richard can prepare lessons based upon the style an complexity demanded by the venue. We can then select, or make, the appropriate papers for the projects and skills to be studied. We recommend that participants be properly qualified for entry into any classes that you wish for us to present. We can advise you on how best to do this--we have a lot of experience in this area; you certainly wish for students to be challenged, but not to get in over their heads!

Origamido® Paper & Papermaking Workshop

Purchase Origamido® paper or come and make your own paper at our studio! [click here for information]

Contact us for more information!