Korean Paper Fans

We made these Korean paper fans.

All you need to do is tape two pieces of white paper together on the short side, so you end up with one long white paper. Turn it over so you’re painting on the side opposite from the tape. Sketch your design, making it oblong, since when you fold it, it will shrink down. Paint or color it.

When it is dry, cut off the corners to make them rounded then fold up the fan accordion style starting from one short side of the paper. Tape one end together to make the handle.

Additional Layers

    • Learn about the country of South Korea .
    • Watch a Korean fan dance.
    • We used the South Korean flag as the design on one of our fans.  Learn more about the symbolism of the Korean flag.
    • Learn about the Korean war, which technically we’re still fighting.
    • What is the difference between North and South Korea?  They are the same people, with the same heritage, history, and culture, but the south received the protection and form of government of America and the north was set up as a soviet communist regime.  What has been the difference in the outcome and why is there such a difference? (While kids are working on a craft is a great time to discuss history, culture and deep philosophical topics <wink>).
    • Koreans don’t just use fans for art and dance, they also use them as weapons.  Find out more.
    • Though Koreans love paper fans, they are suspicious of electric ones.  Electric fans sold in Korea come with a warning that fans left on for long periods of time, especially when a person is sleeping can cause death.  We’re not joking, look it up.
    • Fixed hand fans were probably invented in China many thousands of years ago.  The folding paper fan was invented in Japan about 1500 years ago.  Korea, Japan and China borrowed culture and technology from one another over the thousands of years of their contact, including the manufacture and art of fans.



3 thoughts on “Korean Paper Fans”

  1. I’m a teacher, and I love these kinds of projects. For example, instead of the Korean flag, you could decorate the fan with the Korean alphabet. Bodily-kinesthetic learners will learn lots from these types of activities–and they’ll have fun doing it!

    1. Layers of Learning

      Yes! You can read about a topic and that’s important, but when kids do a project as a follow up to the stuff they’re learning that’s when it really sticks.

      1. Kids, as you say, for sure, but it works great with adults too. I teach at a university (plus I’m learning the Thai language right now) and I’ve found that creative activities such as these work really well for older students–seems like kids “games” but really they are professional learning tools!

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