Susan Riley | April 2012

Paper Fortune Tellers for Student Engagement

Remember those paper fortune tellers that all elementary school kids learn how to make on the bus?  You put your hands in and move it open and closed until you open it up and find out what your “fortune” would be.  Well, we’ve taken that and created one for using Arts techniques in the classroom.

Students create their fortune teller from the template below, and then use it to determine which art element they will use to demonstrate their understanding (or that of their group) of a particular content objective.  Students of all ages love this method and because each art form is represented, everyone gets an opportunity to use an artform with which they connect.

So, if they are studying angles in math and you want them to demonstrate a 45 degree angle, they can use the fortune teller and possibly have to show this using a drama technique they know.  Additionally, you could print out a blank template and fill in specific ways that students could show their understanding using only one art area (ie: draw the angle, paint the angle, sculpt the angle, create a mosaic of the angle).

Below, you’ll find both templates for you to use, which also include instructions for how to make the fortune teller.  To download, just click the PDF download link.  Have fun!

Engagement Fortune Tellers, Education Closet

Engagement Fortune Teller Download

Engagement Fortune Teller Blank Template


If you’re looking for more ways to bring paper fortune tellers into your classroom, check out this Kinetic Mathematical Sculpture article. It takes this technique to a whole new level!



About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan