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Lesson Plan

Morgan Pestorius

Title or Topic of the Lesson: Making Recycled Paper

Grade Level: 3rd

Lesson Essential Question(s): Why is it important to take care of the Earth?

3-LS4-4 Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment
changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

Learning Objectives and Assessments:

Objective Assessment
Students will be able to participate in the The teacher will observe students participating
making of recycled paper. in the class activity.
Students will be able to explain the importance The teacher will facilitate a discussion about
of recycling paper. recycling and listen to student responses.

Materials: List materials/resources you and the students will need to teach/learn this lesson.
Paper scraps
Frames with mesh screen inserts
Plastic basin

Pre-lesson assignments and/or prior knowledge: The students have been tasked with putting
paper scraps in a crate for the past week in order to have materials for this lesson. The school
does not recycle, so this is a new concept. This lesson will be taught on Earth Day.

Lesson Beginning: The students will return from lunch and all of the materials will be set up in
the classroom. The teacher will ask the students to share what they know about recycling and
why it is important.

Instructional Plan:
The teacher will tell the students that the first step in making paper is shredding it into
smaller pieces so that it can be blended. The students will each take several scraps of
paper back to their desks and begin tearing the paper into small pieces.
The students will each get a turn to help the teacher blend the paper into a pulp. The
student will add a handful of paper scraps to the blender and cover the scraps with water
from the water fountain. Then, they will blend the paper until it forms a pulpy substance.
This substance will be put into the plastic basin.
Once all of the paper has been processed, the class will move outside.
The teacher will add water to the plastic basin.
The teacher will demonstrate how students should scoop a thin layer of pulp onto the
screen inside the frame and use the sponge to press out the water.
Once the water has been removed, the teacher will lay a piece of felt onto the back of the
paper and flip it over so that the paper is on top of the felt.
The teacher will lay the paper out on the blacktop to dry.
The teacher will assist students in the completion of these steps until every student has
made their own piece of paper. There is room in the basin for 2-3 students to work at a
Once every student has made their own piece of recycling paper, the students will assist
the teacher in cleaning up the materials and they will bring their recycled paper inside.

Differentiation: The teacher will be working with each student individually at some point in the
lesson. She will be available to answer any questions throughout the lesson.

Can you list the steps you used to create this paper?
How do our choices to recycle or not recycle affect the Earth?
What happens to paper when it is recycled? What happens to paper when it is not

Classroom Management: The teacher will oversee all steps of the process for making paper
during this lesson. Before bringing the students outside, the teacher will explain her expectations.
The papermaking will take place on the blacktop, away from the street. The students will remain
busy at all times; if they are not making the paper, they will be assisting classmates.

Transitions: The students will move from inside to outside in a quiet line.

Closure: Once the class has return to the classroom, the teacher will end the lesson with a review
of why it is important to recycle paper and how it affects the Earth.
The National Science Teachers Association has published a position statement regarding

the way environmental education should be taught in schools. According to several points in this

position statement, this science lesson is powerful.

One of the declarations in this position statement reads, environmental education

programs should foster observation, investigation, experimentation, and innovation. Programs

should be developed with grade-appropriate materials and should use a range of hands-on,

minds-on instructional strategies that encourage active learning. This lesson is entirely hands-on

and unlike anything the students have ever done before. All of the materials were appropriate for

the age group, so that the children could safely participate in the lesson. Each student walks away

from this lesson with his or her own piece of recycled paper. The students were involved in each

part of the papermaking process, so this is something that they created with their own hands.

Another declaration states, All learners are expected to achieve environmental literacy

and an appreciation for and knowledge of a range of environmental issues, perspectives, and

positions. This lesson was taught in an urban district where recycling is not a component in

school, so every part of this lesson was a new concept for the students. The classroom discussion

and activity allowed the students to think critically and understand how their actions directly

affect the environment. This lesson is longer than a typical science lesson, but because it was

taught on Earth Day, there was more time built in for science. It is difficult to teach everything

that the children need to know about recycling in just one day, but this experience gave them an

appreciation for the Earth that they may not have had prior to the lesson.

The NSTA position statement outlines the characteristics of a strong science lesson. This

lesson possesses these characteristics and is therefore meaningful.