Lesson Objectives: Students will create a pattern in the shape of a triangle or square using folded strips of paper.

Artist: Richard Fuller, Buckminster

Time Required: 1 hour



Black tagboard

Various colors of paper (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple), cut into 1 ½ inch strips

Scotch tape

Markers in the same colors as the paper

Iris folding template


Discuss what a pattern is (a repeating element).


  1. Before the lesson, cut out a triangle or square shape from the center of a black piece of 8 ½ x 11 tag board for each student.
  2. Make copies of the templates and tape them on the back side of the paper so that the template shows through the cut-out shape.


  1. Pass out the prepared templates. Have students choose their colors: 3 for the triangle, 4 for the square.
  2. Show students the pattern on the template. Using markers the same color as the paper colors they’ve chosen, mark the pattern.
  3. Have students fold a strip of paper lengthwise the same color as the dot in area #1.
  4. Starting at area #1, place the 1st strip of paper down making sure that the folded edge is toward the center of the template.
  5. Tape the strip down on the black paper, and trim as necessary.
  6. As you continue, the strips needed will become shorter and shorter, so save your scraps.
  7. Once completed, it will look like a big mess of paper and tape because you are working from the back of the project.
  8. Turn over and remove the template and prepare to be wowed!