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Making Recycled Paper Activity

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 9/11/2012

This lesson plan introduces students to recycling using a first hand method. This recycling project will help students to see how many things can be recycled, not just paper!

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    The Process of Making Paper

    Before you start on this project, it would be a good idea to have a talk with students about recycling. Explain what it is and why it is good for the earth. Are your students aware that the earth has its own form of recycling? Talk about the trees and how the dead leaves are recycled into the earth for the plants to use as a natural fertilizer.

    This project is to be done using adult supervision. To begin this paper project you need the following items.

    • A blender
    • old papers of any type. Note that newspapers will work, but may make your paper have a grayish tint.Try getting the end of a reel of paper from your nearest newspaper printer.
    • A framed screen that will fit inside the baking pans.
    • scissors
    • 2 disposable baking pans
    • a rolling pin
    • a large flat surface to dry the paper on
    • large sponge
    • Any type of glue (optional)
    • water

    Before beginning this project have students put on their craft aprons or an old shirt. Follow the steps below to begin making your recycled paper!

    1. Tear paper into small pieces.
    2. Cut the bottom of the baking pan out, leaving only about an inch or two around the edge of the bottom of the pan. Place this pan inside the other one.
    3. Place the screen inside the pans.
    4. Place shredded paper in the blender. Add small amounts of water and blend until you have a mushy paste. You may also add glue to increase cohesion, but that is optional and will make your paper harder.
    5. Pour and spread the mixture onto the screen so that it is evenly spread and covers the screen.
    6. Lift the screen and allow the excess water to drip off. Use the sponge to absorb excess water by placing it on the bottom of the screen, then ringing it out and repeating until the sponge only catches a minimal amount of water.
    7. Flip screen over onto a flat surface so that the mixture can fall out on the flat surface.
    8. Use the rolling pin to roll out the mixture, making it flat and even.
    9. Allow mixture to dry.
    10. Use your paper!!!





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