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How To Make Paper- An Investigation and a Project

Sunday, October 27, 2013

As we wondered about leaves and trees, the kids began to wonder about how paper is made from trees. They also wondered what else is made from trees. We started investigating how paper is made. 

We read a book and watched a video on YouTube that showed us the whole process from cutting down the trees to rolling the newly made paper into giant tubes. 

When we initially read that they first had to cut the trees down, the kids did a collective gasp! They didn't seem to like that. This brought us to a discussion about wasting paper and how we don't want to lose so many trees.  When I told them we could recycle paper by using old paper to make new paper, they were intigued. Of course, when I asked them if they would like to explore how this is done and try it ourselves, they were very interested!

We watched three different videos on YouTube for the next couple of days that showed us how to make paper out of old scraps. They gave us some good ideas and showed us what materials we needed. We created a list. 

We collected the materials and then got to work. 

They wanted leaves to crush up into their paper. 

The kids collected thistle, flowers, seeds and grass to put in their paper. A couple friends got a good fine motor workout by pulling the thistle seeds out of thier base!  Of coarse they wanted glitter for their paper!  Everything is prettier with glitter, right?  My husband stapled a screen to a frame to create the tool used for making the pulp into paper. 

They started out by picking out paper from our scrap bins and tearing it up into little pieces. They worked on this for an hour without one complaint and bragged about how strong their finger muscles were getting!

They dumped their scraps into the blender and added leaves or grass, then covered it with water. 

The next step was to blend it to a pulp. They loved being in control of the blender button!

They poured the pulp onto the screen.

They added leaves, glitter or flowers.

They let the water drain out of it and soaked some of the water out by pressing a sponge over the top of the pulp. 

We flipped it over onto a piece of felt and the kids pressed it gently with a sponge to get the water out. 

When we lifted up the screen, it looked like this!  It was still wet and mushy and had to dry overnight before it was stiff enough to take off of the felt. 

As we were making paper, some students decided to create lists to show who made paper and who still needed to make paper.  Talk about purposeful writing!

You can see where it says "Keira has made paper.  Emma has made paper.  Sophia has not made paper."  I love it!
Here is the beautiful paper they created!  We are going to hang them from he branches in our room to display them and add more beauty to our classroom environment!

The kids have been wanting to explore pumpkins after my husband brought a bunch into our room a few weeks ago. We recorded everything they wondered about pumpkins on Friday. This weekend, I will come up with experiences to help them investigate and find out the answers to their questions!


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