Do you remember those paper fortuneteller things that girls used to make when they were younger? You know the ones with the colors and the numbers written on them, and when your friend opened a certain flap it meant that she was destined to marry so and so, and have a mansion, and a "bazillion babies". Yeah, something like that. Anyway a thought occurred to me when I confiscated one of these instruments of gossip from a student in my class last year. What if I could take this thing that is already appealing to kids and use it to teach them something?
I know just like a teacher to zap the fun out of everything, but here goes.
I had my students write a question on each of the outside flaps. Once the question was answered, then the person holding the fortune spelled out the letters of the answer, while moving the fortune teller open and shut. (This can also be done with the words from the answer, if they are longer than one or two word phrases.) Once the answer is spelled out then the student can choose from the vocabulary words that are written on the inside of the fortune teller. They have to correctly define the word that they choose, or they do not get a point. The students can then open the fortune to see if the guesser had it right.
If the little animated gif that I made is hard to follow, then here are the step by step instructions:
These directions look complicated, but it is quite easy to make (just difficult to describe!).
- Start with a square piece of paper. (Use a standard sheet of paper. Take a bottom corner and diagonal fold it across to the opposite side of the page. Cut off the 2.5 inch strip at the top of the page to create an 8.5 x 8.5 sheet of paper)
- Fold the paper along the diagonal and crease. Then open it back up. Fold along the opposite diagonal and crease. Open it back up. Fold the paper in half along a straight edge and crease. Open it back up. Turn the paper 1/4 (90 degrees) and fold in half again, and crease. Open it back up. You should have a flat piece of paper with the creases forming a star in the center of the page.
- Take one corner and fold it in to the center of star. Repeat with each corner. When you are done, you will have a six inch square, with four open flaps on the top.
- Flip the piece of paper over. Take one corner and fold it in to the center of star. Repeat with each corner. Your square will now be about four inches on each side, with four flaps.
- Flip the paper over so that the top side has square flaps. Fold the paper in half along a straight edge and crease. Open it back up. Turn the paper 1/4 (90 degrees) and fold in half again, and crease. Open it back up.
- Put your thumb and index finger on your right hand under the two square flaps on the right hand side. Put your thumb and index finger on your left hand under the two square flaps on the left hand side. As you pinch your finger tips together, the fortune teller will take shape.
- At this point you can write questions, definitions, characters, vocabulary, math problems, science terms, etc. on the flaps and answers under the flip up pieces.
- To work the fortune teller, put your fingers back in the flaps. Pinch your thumb and index fingers together, then gently pull apart to open the center. Then bring the four fingers back together. Pinch together the two index fingers and the two thumbs. Gently pull apart to open the center.
This will work with any size square sheet of paper. These instructions use an 8.5 inch square so that other measurements can be used as guidelines in the instructions.