Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Earth Day Celebrations!

Last week we had a wonderful time celebrating Earth Day! We read some wonderful stories, wrote an informational pamphlet, wrote our own story, created crafts from recycled materials and even created our own paper from recycled scraps in the classroom!

First, our favorite Earth Day books were 

All three of these titles are engaging and information packed! They are great for classes both young and old. 

After reading the Adventures of an Aluminum Can and Adventures of a Plastic Bottle, my students sequenced the steps it took for the bottle to turn into a (SPOILER ALERT) spacesuit, and the can to turn into (DOUBLE SPOILER ALERT) a baseball bat. 

On the next day, we learned about the process of making paper from trees. We watched this video and sequenced the steps as a class. We were careful to use specific vocabulary in our sequencing. 

After, we wrote our very own story: Adventures of a Sheet of Paper. We modeled this book after the Adventures of a Plastic Bottle and Adventures of an Aluminum Can. Since we have been learning about figurative language in Reading, I encouraged my students to use this in their stories. Here are some examples of the pages. 

I will upload the cover and the rubric ASAP! I am so impressed with all the work my students did. Many of their books were both funny and informative! 

The next day we made paper. I used a kit here at school, but all you need is a screen, a mold (cookie cutters work just fine for small pieces), a sponge, felt, a blender, water and small scraps of paper.

1. Students tore scraps of paper into small pieces. We chose to separate them by color so our paper would not be too dark, but you don't have do to this. 

2. Fill the blender about 2/3 full of water. Add the scraps of paper.

3. Blend the paper until it is the consistency of oatmeal. 

4. Place a piece of screen in a bucket filled with water. Pour the pulp into the mold. 

5. Take the screen out of the water and let it drip dry. Remove the mold. At this point, we also added seed to make our paper plantable. 

6. Place another piece of mesh on top of the paper. Press it with a sponge. 

7. Remove the paper from one of the mesh screens, press down with a piece of felt, this process is called couching (KOOCHing).

8. Lay the newly formed paper on cardboard to dry over night!

Another teacher at my school, Ms. Simmons, and her class joined us for our Earth Day. She found this idea on someones blog, which I will ask her about so we can give credit! They came out so very cute!!!

We ended our Earth Week with a yummy treat- dirt pudding. I can't wait to celebrate again next year. Hopefully I will I will have all my printables up on TpT by then as well. Only a year away-- A girl can DREAM! 

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