I love Nephi’s example of following the commandments of the Lord, even when he didn’t know how to accomplish the task at hand. We see that example several times from Nephi including going to get the plates, finding food after his bow was broken, and the huge task of building a boat!
You can use this fun object lesson to teach Nephi’s Courage song this month while working together to build a boat in this Nephi’s Courage Origami Build a Boat lesson plan!
Nephi’s Courage Origami Build a Boat
How to Play:
Sing through Nephi’s Courage (flip chart here) once, before introducing this activity. This is a great way to transition to a new activity or help the children refocus before starting a new interactive lesson plan!
Ask the children what is something really hard that Nephi was commanded to do? (Leave his home, go get the plates, build a boat…) If someone says build a boat say you’re right! That would be really hard wouldn’t it! If you don’t get that answer, just add it to the list!
Nephi didn’t know how to build a boat, and you probably don’t know how either. Today we’re going to learn together while singing through this song. To be able to build a boat, you’re going to have to follow directions closely, just like Nephi had to listen to the Lord!
Have the teachers pass out a single piece of paper. Invite the children to fold their paper in half and then in half again, so you have a quarter of a sheet with two folds. Unfold that last fold – you’ll use the line in the next step.
Sing through the song while the kids do the fold and help any children that might need help with this step. Use your teachers to help as needed!
Give the next two steps for building your origami boat: With the folded edge facing you, bring the two bottom corners inward until they line up at the crease line. Press firmly along the 2 new edges you form as you fold them into this new shape.
Fold down the extra bit of paper at the top (single layer) on top of the triangle folds. Flip over the paper and do the same on the back, fold down the extra bit of paper the same distance.
Sing through Nephi’s Courage again as you visually repeat showing those steps slowly to those that need the extra help.
Pull open from the bottom center and it will look like a hat! Keep pulling until you switch from your earlier double triangles are in the front to one is in the front and the other is in the back. Instead of a hat, it will now look like a kite or diamond. Tuck one end of the extra flap under the other on both the front and the back.
Now, let’s sing together again! Look at all this repetition we’re getting in! Remind the children that it would have taken Nephi a LONG time and a lot of hard work to build his boat!
We’re almost done now, just a few more steps! With the open pointy end facing you, fold that front point up until it reaches the top point, folding the front section in half and press a crease. Flip over the paper and repeat that step on the back. This will give you a triangle shape.
Sing through Nephi’s Courage one more time! We’re just two steps away from our boat – which we’ll make magically appear next!
Open up the bottom section of the triangle to again rotate the triangle into a diamond, like we did before with our hat!
With the open end facing you, hold the two points at the top of the diamond – one in each hand. Slowly pull down and away from each other until you create a straight line. Press down at the bottom edge to keep a crease that will hold that boat shape! There you have it – you can do hard things, just like Nephi, and even can build a boat!
Invite the children to bring home their boats and show their families and share a brief testimony that the Lord will help them face the challenges in their lives.
How to Make an Origami Boat:
Step 1: Fold top edge down to the bottom edge.
Step 2: Fold left side over to right edge. Then unfold this step.
Step 3: Fold both top (folded edge) corners in to meet the center line.
Step 4: Fold the bottom flap of paper up and over your last folds. Flip and repeat on the back.
Step 5: Press open at the bottom and create a diamond.
Step 6: Fold up the bottom point to the top. Flip over and repeat on the other side.
Step 7: Press open from the bottom and flatten into a diamond.
Step 8: Pull both top points away from center and reveal your boat! Crease the bottom edge.
- You can find some additional resources and ideas for “Building a Boat” from the Friend magazine on the church website! Here’s what I was able to find. There are some additional methods you could try for making boats in Primary!
- Skip the individual boats and make one BIG boat all together! Use a big sheet of packing paper (thin and easy to fold) or if you’re strong and brave you can try using a poster board. You’ll want something to help you with your creases. Invite different children to come up to help you with each step.
For another fun similar activity, head over to see this St Patrick’s Day Fortune Teller singing time activity!
Nephi’s Courage Printable Song Helps
This free in-post printable includes a 1-page visual guide with steps on how to make an Origami boat! Pass one out to each teacher or use it to learn the steps yourself before Singing Time.
Join INSTANT Primary Singing for extended printables including full page directions for each step and a 2-step spread perfect to use as a slideshow directions. You’ll find these bonus files included when Nephi’s Courage is the featured song of the month.
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Get everyone moving with this pats and claps Nephi’s Courage Body Rhythm pattern! It’s a great way to add in lots of singing and purposeful movement that matches the melody.
What other fun ways will you use this Build an Origami Boat singing time activity in your Primary room?