Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making Paper

I remember making recycled paper when I was a kid. I did not remember how much preparation is involved and how messy it can be! I guess those are the things you learn as you move from the role of the child to the role of the adult. In anticipation for “Earth Week 2011” (to be held next week, just a few months past the official date), I have been creating Earth friendly lessons. Lessons to be taught include the importance of recycling, the harms of pollution, and how we can all pitch in to help keep Samoa, and the world, beautiful.

Although I am still a new teacher, I learned a very important lesson from my “No Bake Cookie” lesson a few months back: that is, do not attempt a project in the classroom you have not already rehearsed at home! So yesterday was the trial run for paper making.

Pisi, my next-door neighbor and one of the top students in the school, came over to assist. Every day for the past week she had been coming over to ask if we would be making paper today, but due to rain, lack of running water, and lack of supplies, the much-anticipated trial did not take place until yesterday.

Last week at school I had doen a major clean up, and instead of throwing out my paper, I ripped it into small shreds and through it all into a bag. Yesterday, I took out the blender that has been acquiring dust below my sink and we began the process. I had Pisi pick some flowers to incorporate into our paper, and then we each took turns dipping the wood-framed molds into the pulpy mixture. The color was a light blue, and we carefully inlaid pink flowers to give our stationary a nice look. As mentioned before, the paper was surprisingly messy to make, but the overall steps were easy.

One on one the process was smooth, but in a class of 30 students it might get a bit out of control. Luckily I will have Arianna’s helping hands, as well as the teachers of the school, so divided into small groups, I think the project will be a great success! More on Earth Week to come next week.

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