In December, Mrs. Halldorson’s grade 4/5 Kootenay Orchards classroom transformed into a paper making factory. Prior to this Beyond Recycling Paper Making project, students learned about the lifecycle of our stuff, how it is extracted and produced, manufactured and distributed. We embraced all of these elements while making our very own paper.
In true factory style, we had several assembly line stations set up where the “factory workers” each had their role to play to accomplish the end paper product. These roles included the rip team, who used recycled paper from bins throughout their schools and ripped it into a usable size.The blender team, who added water and embellishments like dried flowers and rosemary to the ripped up paper before blending it up into a papery mush. Next up was the pulp team, who carefully pushed the water out of the mushy paper mixture before handing it off to the pat team who used flannel rags to soak up additional moisture. And finally, the rollers used rolling pins to flatten and shape the paper. The paper masterpieces were left to dry over the weekend and when students returned on Monday, all 26 students had a beautiful, colourful, scented piece of homemade paper.
The paper making project gave students a deeper understanding of how everyday things like paper are made and allowed them to tune in to their creative side at the same time.