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Lesson Plan: Making Paper

Science, level: Pre-School

Materials Required: scrap paper, water, blender, large mixing bowl, screen
Activity Time: 30-45 minutes
Concepts Taught: conservation, changing physical states, recycling

Procedures:

  1. Save classroom paper scraps for several days. Children may also want to bring in some from home. (This should be encouraged, so they can feel they have provided something personal to the project & they can inform parents about the need for recycling.)
  2. Set up blender (or can use a food processor).
  3. Explain blender safety: a. only an adult can use the blender because of sharp blades. b. The lid must always be on the blender until all motion of the blades has stopped.
  4. Have students begin to add a few small scraps of paper into the blender pitcher.
  5. Add just enought water to thoroughly soak paper.
  6. Place lid on the pitcher and begin blending.
  7. After a few seconds, check the mixture. Add water and paper as needed.
  8. Empty the pulpy mixture into a bowl.
  9. Repeat steps 4 through 8 until bowl is nearly full or until each student has had a turn helping create the mixture.
  10. Outside, or over a large basin (a water table is ideal!)pour and spread the pulp in the bowl over the screen.
  11. Place the screen outside or in a warm, dry area for several hours. (overnight is best!)
  12. After several hours, touch the screen to see if the pulp is dry.
  13. When pulp is dry, slowly peel the paper off the screen.
  14. Out the paper into small squares for each student.

Discussion:

  1. talk about what happened to the paper when water was added to it. What happened to it in the blender?
  2. why did it go back to being like paper?
  3. how is this paper different from the paper we use to write and draw on?


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