I worked at a gym for... 5 years I think? I still spell exercise incorrectly. I always want to type excersize. Origami is another one of those words I ALWAYS spell wrong (oragami...or orgami...ALWAYS)
Regardless of my inability to spell, I LOVE using origami in the class. When students are first learning we as teachers encourage TPR(Total Physical Response). We want a motion to be connected with a word.
Origami can be the same. It is very hands on and dynamic. One of the simpler ones I know comes with a story (storygami or storigami hmmm), which is why I think it is perfect for the ESL classroom. There is a simple box that I make with my students. You can download the PowerPoint I send to other teachers who want to steal the lesson at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store If you haven't signed up for Teachers Pay Teachers yet click here to go straight to their sign up page (Remember it is free!).
This is not the most amazing PowerPoint I have ever made, and I do not normally show it to students. Rather I do this as a listening activity where students follow my step by step directions. They really enjoy the box and the actions keep the words stuck in their head.
I've used this with pre-school through high school. The pre-school students need help creasing the folds, but they can do it!
This is another one of those great things you can use even if you aren't a teacher. Is there a tired looking mother and two hyper children in front of you at the bank? Take some bank brochures and tell them you want to tall them a story. They'll settle for a bit and the mom (and customers) will love you.
I had no idea that entire books were dedicated to these types of stories. If you are interested you may want to check one of them out.