Objectives: Students will make recycled paper using common household items.
Time: Two class periods
Materials: Old newspapers, water, blender, sponge, basin (container), wax paper, cookie cutters(optional), gelatin (optional), paint (optional), and screening material stapled to an old 5"x7" picture frame (making a square water strainer).
1. Discuss with the class what they use paper for in their daily lives and why it is important to recycle.
To further the discussion, share ideas with students about what can be made from recycled paper
(ex. new recycled paper, pencils, notebooks, binders, ceiling and wall insulation, paint filler, roofing materials, pet bedding, and fuel (coal and wood replacement)).
2. Introduce the idea of making paper. Ask students to share ideas on how they would go about making recycled paper out of old newspaper.
3. Students will cut/rip one newspaper page into 1 inch squares and let it soak in a large container of
warm water overnight (at least 3 hours). Use at least double the size of newspaper as the paper you
wish to make.
Colored paper: Use a few drops of paint and mix it into the soaked paper.
Shiny and non-bleeding paper: Use a packet of gelatin (clear) to make the paper a little bit
shiny and when you use a marker to write on it, it will not bleed through.
4. Each students will pour a handful of the soaked paper into a blender and fill it halfway with water.
The teacher will blend the soaked paper for about 2 minutes turning it into paper "pulp." When the
paper is completely shredded, it will look like mush; this is the "pulp".
5. Pour the liquefied pulp evenly into the strainer (make sure the basin is below the strainer to catch excess water). The strainer will eliminate some of the water (the less water your "pulp" has, the
quicker it will dry). Use a sponge to "tap" the bottom side of the strainer to help remove excess
6. Cover the pulp with wax paper and flip the strainer over so that the pulp lays flat on top of the wax paper. (The pulp should be exposed to open air with the wax paper on the bottom side).
2nd-5th: Recycled Paper
7. If you choose to make a square piece of paper, simply mold it using the interior perimeter of the
Creative shaped paper: Choose a cookie cutter which will make the shape you want. Press
the cookie cutter onto the pulp (not the wax paper side).
8. When the pulp is on the wax paper, you can lightly dab the pulp with a sponge to eliminate more water. Do not dab the pulp with a sponge if a cookie cutter was used because it will lose its shape. You must dab the sponge while the cookie cutter is still in place.
9. Place each student's pulp with wax paper on top of spare newspapers and let the pulp dry overnight.
10. Voila! You have made recycled paper from old newspapers.
Station 1: Pour all the blended pulp into a basin with about 6 inches of water. Make sure the pulp is stirred evenly throughout the basin. Have students take turns dipping the frame strainer into the basin and lift it up horizontally. Shake the frame so that the pulp spreads evenly and excess water is strained back into the basin. Cover the pulp with wax paper while in the frame.
Station 2: Flip frame strainer over so that the pulp sits flat on the wax paper. Lay all students wax paperwith pulp on old newspapers to dry overnight.
Extension Activity: Throughout the lesson, have students take turns using a magnifying glass to look at the different fibers on their notebook paper, printing paper, and once they have finished the lesson,have students look at their recycled paper through a microscope. Have students write a paragraphon the difference they saw in the different fibers.
Assessment: Students will be able to identify the importance of recycling paper. Students will show they can follow directions and cooperate with their peers.
National Education Standards:
NA-VA.K-4.1- Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
NA-VA.K-4.6- Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
NL-ENG.K-12.4- Communication skills
NS.K-4.6- Personal and social perspectives