Thursday, December 16, 2010

Senbazuru project

Hanging our 168 paper crane in Hiroshima (2009)
A few years ago, (2009) as I was the homeroom teacher for a split level grade 7-8 class, I found some of my students very interested about origami. Coincidently, I had just come back from my first trip to Japan and was very excited to share my knowledge (or not) about the subject. 
That's when I stumbled on the web site dedicated to Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes and later on, the Hiroshima Children Memorial Peace registry. As I was planning to visit that city in the summer I thought it would be a great activity to perform with my students (folding a 1000 paper cranes that is). 
Soon, many classes  were taking part in the project and together we made 168 paper cranes. Not exactly the number I was hoping for but I was so proud to see so many kids trying their best at something completely new to them. In July of that same year, I made my way to Hiroshima and under pouring rain, proudly hang our birds at the monument. As I was doing so, I met a lovely family from Ohio who help me string the birds. (I was not aware at the time of the stringing process).

Last October (2010), as I was diagnose with a miscarriage (at 3 months) I sat devastated at home. That's when I remembered the story of Sadako and decided to make my own 1000 paper cranes with the hope of a healthy baby for my next pregnancy. With the help of my husband, my sister, my friends and family, we made the 1000 paper cranes in less than 3 weeks. They are now stringed together in my house and I swore to bring them back to Hiroshima with me and my child-to-be.

At the same time, I was approach by the grade 2 teacher at my school who wanted to attempt this project with her own classroom. 19 kids who for the most part had never heard about Hiroshima nor origami. Yesterday marked our first try at teaching them. I first presented a power point filled with pictures of Hiroshima, paper cranes and Sadako. We gave them each a square of white paper and used the tutorial found on this great website.

Emma proudly showing her first bird!

Took a good hour but the result were encouraging. Every kid managed to make a beautiful crane, and furthermore they were all very motivated to keep on going. They were allowed to bring this practice crane back home.

Madame Pauline helping a student!

Yesterday marked our second attempt. The kids did very well and made over 40 paper cranes. Some of them needed a lot of help while others were able to teach visiting teacher how to fold their own!

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