Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fortune Teller

When you've got a reluctant writer in your house, here're two things you should also have:

1) Games for Writing, by Peggy Kaye - for kids under 10 or so, Kaye comes up with great ways to get 'em writing without really knowing they're writing.

2) A Fortune Teller - you remember, those little folded squares with the color names on the outside, numbers on the inside, and fortunes under the numbers? They were fun then, and thankfully they still are. Here is how to make one.

First, take a square piece of paper and fold exactly in half one way, unfold, then fold it exactly in half the other way, then open it back out. Then, fold in the corners so that they each touch the midpoint of the paper (keep it folded). Turn the whole thing over, and fold the corners in so that they each touch the midpoint. If at this point, you were to unfold the whole thing, it would look like this:

From Fall Blog

Yours doesn't have writing on it, but it soon will! On the four outside corners, write a color. Then, on the 8 inside corners, write a number - doesn't matter what the numbers are, just no repeats and a healthy mix of odd and even. You may want to fold your fortune teller up before writing in it, to keep where the numbers/letter go straight. It should look like this:

From Fall Blog

To finish making it, lift up each number flap and write a fortune in it - stuff like, "You will win an Olympic Gold medal" or "A thousand Ping Pong balls will land on your head after lunch."

Now, to use it:

From Fall Blog

The teller holds it thus, with thumbs and index fingers inside the four "color" parts. When the tellee picks a color, the teller spells it out, moving the Fortune Teller once with each letter (R- it opens north/south, E- it opens east/west, D- it opens north/south...) Next, the tellee picks a visible number; the teller moves the FT in the same way as s/he did for the color, this time moving it while counting up to the number the tellee chose (3 is chosen; teller moves it 1, 2, 3 times.) The tellee picks another number, the teller repeats what s/he just did with the FT. When the tellee chooses a third number, the teller lifts the flap and reads the tellee's fortune (written on the underside of the number.)

Et, voila - lots of writing bundled with silliness, just the ticket for a reluctant writer.

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