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Trees to Paper

Keywords: paper, recycle, pulpwood, wood products; Lesson Plan Grade Level: 3; Total Time Required: two 45 minute periods; Setting: classroom, outside if possible

Subject covered:  science (ecology), language arts
Topic(s) covered:  products that come from trees, how paper is made, revewable     resource   

Goals for the Lesson

•    Students will name at least three products that come from trees
•    Students will describe what life would be like without wood products
•    Students will explain the statement “Wood is a renewable resource.”

Materials Needed

•    “Incredible Wood” booklet, From the Woods series, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences/Cooperative Extension
•    “Paper!” booklet, From the Woods series, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences/Cooperative Extension
•    Scraps of paper
•    Water
•    Blender
•    Large bowl
•    Spatula
•    Window screening stretched and stapled to a 2 foot x 2 foot wooden frame
State Standards Addressed:
4.2.4B  Identify products derived from natural resources

Methods

1.    Ask students to brainstorm products made from trees, listing these on the board as mentioned
2.    Share information from the booklet “Incredible Wood,” or if possible secure enough copies to pass out to the class. Read through the information, adding any additional wood products to the list.
3.    Ask students to imagine what life would be like without wood products, starting with getting up in the morning until they go to bed at night. List these on the board. For example:  no toilet paper, no chair to sit on, no books made of paper, etc.
4.    Share information from the booklet “Paper!” Explain that some paper is made from woodpulp obtained from trees, but other paper is recycled. Emphasize that not enough paper can be made from recycled materials, so it’s important to plant quick growing trees that can be made into paper. In this way trees are a renewable resource.
5.    Demonstrate how paper can be made, even though this is not how it is done commercially. Tear paper that students have collected into small pieces. Add pieces to fill the blender one-third full. Add enough water to saturate the paper. Put the lid on, and blend to form a slurry. Add more paper and water as needed. When thoroughly blended, dump into a bowl. Repeat until the bowl is full. Go outside and use the spatula to spread the blended paper in a thin layer over the screening. Let dry. Carefully peel the paper away from the screen.
6.    Discuss the importance of recycling paper so that it doesn’t end up in landfills.
Evaluation:
•    Students will name and draw a picture of three products made from trees. They should write a sentence at the bottom that says. “Trees are a renewable resource because . . .”
•    Students will write a paragraph describing what their lives would be like without products made from trees. “I woke up this morning, looked out my window, and saw all the trees had disappeared!”

Literature/Sources Cited

Smith, Sanford S. and Lee R. Stove. From the Woods: Incredible Wood
College of Agricultural Science/Cooperative Extension. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University.

Smith, Sanford S. and James C. Finley and Lee R. Stover. From the Woods: Paper!
College of Agricultural Science/Cooperative Extension. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University.

Solid Waste District. LaPorte County, Indiana http://www.solidwastedistrict.com/lessons/making_paper.html

Author

Barb Neuhard, State College Area School District (Park Forest Elementary School)—Grades K-5