Origami Fortune Tellers

This is another one-hour conversation activity. For an introduction to the series, click here.

Name: Origami Fortune Tellers

Prep Time: 5 minutes (or however long it takes you to learn how to make origami fortune tellers. You can learn how from this link.)

Materials: White Paper

Primary Objective: Discuss countries around the world

Other Benefits: Great for kinesthetic learners


Pre-Speaking (20 minutes)

Have the students gather around and watch you create a fortune teller.

They should then return to their seats. Pass out white computer paper and have the students rip it so that they have squares instead of rectangles.

Now they should follow along as you create another in front of the class.

On the eight triangles inside the fortune teller, the students should write the names of eight countries that they want to visit.

Now, put the Fortune Tellers aside for a few minutes.

On the board, write the following questions:

What would you do in __________?

How would you travel to _________?

What do you think people are like in __________?

Could you live in _________? Why/why not?

Then write sample answers next to each question

Now, the students should write the questions underneath the triangles (with the country names) in their fortune tellers.

Finally, write the following steps on the board and model them with a couple of the students.

  • A: Say a number between 1 and 10
  • B: Open and close your fortune teller that many times. Say the four countries.
  • A: Choose a country
  • B: Open the paper and read the question (use the country your partner chose).

Speaking (15 minutes)

Have the students ask and answer questions. Have them change partners for time.

Pre-Speaking #2 (10 minutes)

Tell the students that they should now make a second fortune teller. On the eight inside triangles, they should now write eight cities from around the world. Beneath the flaps, they should write four of their own questions.

Speaking #2 (10 minutes)

Again, they should ask and answer questions. Have them change partners for time.

Post-Speaking (5 minutes)

Take a fortune teller from a student. Do the activity with the class acting as “A” and you acting as “B”


Have the class exchange fortune tellers with a partner and ask new questions. You could also have them decorate their fortune tellers with pictures that represent each country/city.


Ideas for Homework: Have the students should find another origami creation on YouTube and make it for homework.

Modification for Lower Levels: Adapt the questions to make them easier and make sure to put sample answers on the board. For example:

  • Do you want to go to ______? (Yes, I do/No, I don’t want to go to _____.)
  • Where is ______? (It’s in Asia, Europe, etc.)
  • Is it hot or cold in ________? (It’s hot/cold in _______.)
  • What language do people speak in _______? (They speak ____ in ___.)

Modification for Higher Levels: From the start, have the students write questions instead of countries. Underneath, they should write follow-up questions.

Modification for Small Groups: Have each student create two from the start. And have them create them by continent. Then, make the discussion for the whole group rather than in pairs.

Modification for Private Lesson: Bring two created fortune tellers to class. Start by doing the activity with your fortune tellers. Then, have the student create their own fortune tellers.

Modification for Different Themes: This is pretty easily adapted. Choose the things you want the students to talk about (e.g. modes of transportation, sports, clothing, etc.) and then create discussion questions about those things instead of the countries.

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