Communication Origami

30 minutes Online activity
Communication Origami
Learning Outcomes

This activity develops young people’s understanding that we all hear and interpret things differently, even if we are given exactly the same information.

Resources & Preparation Needed

Standard-sized, A4 papers

Origami shape with instructions for the teacher to read it out

(Students mustn’t see the origami outcome or instructions  before the exercise!)


Tell your students that they will get step-by-step instructions on how to fold their piece of paper into an origami shape. 

Communicating clearly is not easy, we all interpret the information we get differently that’s why it’s very important to ask questions and confirm understanding to ensure the communicated message is not distorted.

Give one sheet of standard-sized paper (A4) to each participant.

Tell your students that they are not allowed to look at the paper or ask any clarifying questions.

Give the group your instructions on how to fold the paper into the origami shape of your choice.

Once the instructions have all been given, have everyone open their eyes and compare their shape with the intended shape. 

You will likely find that each shape is a little bit different! To hit the point home, refer to these discussion points and reflect with your group following for example the questions provided.

Ideas For Reflection

General reflection and evaluation: 

  • Why is each paper different even though you have given the same instructions to everybody? What does this mean?
  • Would the results be better if they had kept their eyes open or were allowed to ask questions? What does this teach us about communication?
  • What went well with the communication of the spokesperson?
  • What could be improved next time? What problems arose?
  • What questions did you want to ask (but according to the rules of the game you were not allowed to ask)?
  • What have you learnt regarding communication?
Extra Material

More simple origami shapes: