Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

Origami Yoda

The tweens at my library love the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. With so many fans, I knew this series would be great for a program. For my program inspiration, I used several of the activities in Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling. I was nervous about putting on an origami program, because I am not very skilled at origami myself.

I set up the room with origami paper and additional supplies we would need for drawing our own comics as well as print outs of how to do some of the more difficult origami folds. Nine tweens gathered on a Sunday afternoon at my library to learn how to do origami and talk about the series.

We started the program out by talking about the book series and why they liked it (it’s funny and they liked the drawings throughout). About half of the group had read the books, the other half were attending the program either for the Star Wars or origami aspect. I started the group out with the simple five fold Origami Yoda that the author has posted to his website. This also gave me a good way to gauge how well the group could handle origami. Most of them had some trouble getting started but quickly figured it out. Once we made our Origami Yoda’s, we talked about the books some more and talked about favorite characters (Origami Yoda was the ultimate favorite character). While some of the origami was a bit complicated, the group stuck with it and they tried their hardest to complete Darth Paper and Origami R2-D2. In addition to origami, we made eraser Wookie’s and learned how to draw a simple Darth Vader helmet, both from the Art2-D2 book.

This was a fairly simple program with little supply cost, preparation and set up and it was a huge hit. I had to learn a bit of origami beforehand, and being crafty is not my strong suit. But the tweens didn’t care that I was learning along with them and we helped each other out in making various origami characters. The tweens loved gathering around a table, talking about a book series they enjoyed and learning to make origami. The most exciting part of the event was that it was very boy friendly and attended by an overwhelming majority of boys. Only one of my attendees was female and she attended because she was the younger sister of two of the attendees. It was a great way to bring boys into the library and show them all the library has to offer-and that we can have fun programs too.

At the end of the origami making, I was able to give away a copy of Art2-D2 as well as a signed copy of Origami Yoda I had picked up at a previous ALA conference. The group was very excited about the chance to win prizes and had a blast learning some new origami skills. It was a fun way to bring in tweens to the library and tie a book and craft program together. I learned not to be shy about my own lack of origami skills and to have fun with it. I can’t wait to have another origami event with the tweens.


Are you interested in reading more tween-related posts?  The YALSA Blog and the ALSC Blog both offer information of interest to librarians who work with tweens.


  1. Renee

    Glad to hear that this program was a success! I also have the first three books from the Origami Yoda series that I had signed by the author Tom Angleberger when I met him at the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors in 2012. I saved them with the thought of doing a Origami Yoda program but my fear of actually doing the origami has held me back. I had a back experience trying to make an origami parrot for another event and I couldn’t do it! I had to give up on it because if I couldn’t do it on my own, there is no way I could teach kids to make it. Your success story has given me hope. I’ll try it again!

    1. Sarah Bean Thompson

      The tweens were great about learning along with me and they actually took to the more difficult designs better than I did! I told them I wasn’t sure how to make the harder patterns, but we could learn together and they were all patient and loved the chance to try something new. It made me feel better about putting on an origami program!

  2. Lisa

    Tom Angleberger does Skype visits with kids. He taught the kids from my book club how to make Origami Yoda via Skype. If you don’t want to Skype, he can still help you via his YouTube videos. Here’s the one for Origami Yoda:
    You can do it! 🙂

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