We are studying American History this year. We are in the midst of the American Revolution Stories at the moment. This week we read about Betsy Ross and the First American Flag, A Flag for our Country by Eve Spencer.
The legend goes that George Washington came to Betsy with a drawing of a flag for her to sew. He suggested a flag with 6 pointed stars thinking that making perfectly even 5 pointed stars would be too difficult. Betsy showed him that with a few quick folds and a single snip of the scissors that a perfect 5 pointed star was easy to make. After a quick demonstration she was given the job to create the first American flag.
Of course we had to try it!
You can start with a plain ol’ piece of 8.5″ x 11″ paper.
Fold it in half so it measures 8.5″ x 5.5″.
Fold it in half again so that it is 4.25″ x 5.5″.
Unfold the second fold. Fold it in half now the other way so that it is 8.5″ x 2.5″.
Unfold that fold. You should have a folded piece of paper that is 8.5″ x 5.5″ and that now has horizontal and vertical crease marks. (I added pencil lines to the creases to make them easier to see).
Align your paper so that the fold is on the top. Fold the left top corner down so that it fold with a sharp point on the top of the vertical crease down to the horizontal crease on the right side. You should have created an oblique crease on the left side.
Leaving the left side crease in place, fold that same corner back onto itself, lining up with that left side oblique crease, keeping a sharp point at the top. My kids say that this step looks like you are making a paper airplane.
Keeping a nice point at the top, now fold the right side over so that it folds over top of the current paper airplane shape.
Fold this piece back on itself so that you have that paper airplane shape again… or basically a pie shape with a sharp point on top.
Starting where the bottom corner of the top most piece is open, make one snip up on a diagonal about 2″ down from the top point. I drew a line to help you see the cut mark.
“Then she took just ONE SNIP with her scissors and unfolded the paper. Betsy had done an amazing thing. She had cut a perfect five-pointed star!”
Keeping the top point portion, unfold and you should have a perfect 5 pointed flag shaped star!
After cutting out several stars, the kids took it one step further and added snowflake like details. Have fun!