Happy Arbor Day!
By Eric Antuna on April 29, 2010
April 30 is Arbor Day! It's a holiday that's been in remembrance since 1872. You may want to take a few moments in your classroom to discuss the importance of trees and their effect on the environment. You can (cheaply!) order trees from www.arborday.org and plant them around your school or send it home for a writing or science project. One way you can help students understand how we can recycle and nearly eliminate the need for deforestation is to show them how paper can be made new again. Make some paper!
Since Earth Day was not long ago, you can ride that teachable moment wave and have your students make paper! There is a neat Rookie Reader on Scholastic.com if you care to order a copy (or you may have one in the library or your guided reading library).
Get some old newspapers and let them soak in water overnight.
Take the paper and blend it (in an old blender as it's yucky) until it is a mushy pulp (like oatmeal).
Scoop out some pulp onto a wire screen (we found some frying screens at the dollar store) over some dry towels or sheets. Students can design the paper into a shape or leave rough to cut into a shape later. Instruct students to elminate as much water as possible and make it as flat as possible (a roller or can of vegetables works well).
Have students flip their paper over in a sunny spot to dry. Wait two to three hours to completely dry (depends on the humidity in your area).
Have students cut into a shape or decorate. Make into a recycled greeting card or start a quick art project!
Have any ideas to make it better? Please share here!