Paper Making Lesson Plan - Suffolk Recycling

By Wesley Duncan,2014-02-08 15:43
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Paper Making Lesson Plan - Suffolk Recycling



Length of Session

    1? hours

Group Size

    Up to 30 children

National Curriculum Links

    Science Sc3

    Art and Design 2b, 4b

    Geography 5a,b


    To offer an informative hands-on session that enables children to investigate where and how paper can be recycled.

Summary of Activity

    Following a brief introduction on reduce, reuse, recycle and the paper recycling process, the class splits into groups. Working in their groups, the children work on shredding paper into very small pieces. The paper is then mixed with water and mashed into a pulp (this can be done by hand with a potato masher or by using a food blender). Using frames provided by the School Waste Education Officer, each pupil makes a sheet of recycled paper by pouring the pulp onto the frames, draining off excess water and allowing to dry. Drying takes about 24hours. (See detailed Paper Making information below).

Learning Objectives

    Children should learn:

    ; How people affect the environment by creating waste

    ; How and why waste can be recycled

    ; How to separate mixtures of materials by sieving

    ; How to recover dissolved solids by evaporating the liquid from the




    ; Magazines

    ; Newspapers

    ; Coloured tissue paper

    ; 6 x pairs papermaking frames

    ; 6 x bowls

    ; 6 x potato mashers

    ; Cloths and sponges

    ; Blender

    ; Aprons

    Paper making is a fantastic way of understanding the paper recycling process, and it is good fun as well! Paper making frames can be made by following the instructions below:

To Make The Frames

    You need 2 wooden frames of equal size we use A5 size. You can make

    the frames yourself, or reuse old picture frames from jumble sales and charity shops.

    Frame 1

    This is made using 4 pieces of wood nailed or glued together at the corners. (Not water soluble glue!)

Frame 2

    This is made the same as above, but you need to fix a piece of nylon mesh (with very small holes) over the entire frame so it looks like a flat sieve. We use old net curtains! The mesh can be stapled onto the frame using a staple gun, or glued using a hot glue gun. We find using the staple gun works best.

To Make The Paper

    1. To make 1 sheet of A5 paper, you will need 3 sheets of glossy paper

    (pages of a magazine). In the classroom groups of 4-5 children can

    work together, and each child needs 3 sheets of glossy paper each.

    We find using this type of paper works best, but once you’ve tried it

    this way experiment with other types of paper too.

    2. Shred/tear the paper into very small pieces and put in a washing up

    bowl with enough water to cover it (make sure your frames fit inside

    your washing up bowl). At this stage we also add some coloured crepe

    paper or tissue paper to dye the pulp.

    3. Allow the shredded paper to soak for a short while (if time allows) and

    then mash it to a pulp using a potato masher. This usually takes about

    10 minutes. We use a hand food blender to make the pulp as it is much

    quicker, but the effect is less ‘rustic’.

    4. When your pulp is ready, water it down until the washing up bowl is at

    least half of pulpy water (for a group of 4-5 children). 5. Place Frame 1 on top of the side of frame 2 the wire mesh is on, so the

    nylon mesh is flush with frame 1 (as below).

    Frame 1

     nylon mesh

     Frame 2

    6. Give the pulpy water a quick stir then hold the frames together and

    dunk in and out of the washing up bowl quickly. Hold the frames over

    the bowl and allow water to drain through the mesh.

    7. Remove frame 1 and place a sheet of folded newspaper over the pulp

    on top of the wire mesh on frame 2. Carefully press with the palm of

    your hand to squeeze some of the excess water out. If you push too

    hard or with knuckles or finger tips, you may push your hand through

    the mesh.

    8. Turn frame 2 upside down on a flat surface so it is resting on the

    piece of newspaper.

    9. Using a cloth or sponge, soak up any more excess water from this side

    of the frame you can use more pressure soaking up the water now as

    the frame is supported by the flat surface. Repeat this 2 more times,

    wringing out excess water from the cloth/sponge each time. 10. Taking one end of the frame, carefully peel it off the pulp and your

    damp piece of paper will be stuck to the bottom sheet of newspaper.

    Leave to dry for 24 hours. (In summer sheets dry quickly outside) 11. Once dry gently peel your piece of paper off the newspaper.

Get Creative…

    ; Add leaves - put on frame 2 when pulp has just been sieved out of

    the water

    ; Add glitter add to the water for a sparkly seasonal touch at


    ; Add grated vegetables such as carrots and courgettes to give a

    glossy texture

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