Check out what we're studying in ART!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Creating Handmade Paper!

3rd graders are finishing their Asian Art unit with learning how paper was is made. We learned how the Chinese invented paper in the year 105 and was made very similar to how we made paper today. Earth day is coming up in April and what a great way to recycle used paper! We talked about safety first and made sure everyone knew what their job was. I mentioned that listening to procedure and rules today was very important because safety comes first.

Numbered stations match with numbered tables so students know where to go with their table

Let me just say, if you've ever made paper with 24 students, it requires A LOT of classroom management. It's organized chaos, so making sure everyone is following those directions is important to keep everyone safe. We have a checklist we discussed on the board and how to use it. Important to stress safety rules:). Everyone did great though following all directions! Go 3rd grade. First students tore their used paper into quarter size paper pieces. I told students we will have 2 class sessions to make a sheet of paper and probably only 2 students from each group of 4 would get finished with their sheet of paper due to only a 45 minute class period-so just have fun!

I cut all kinds of different shapes out of plastic embroidery sheets. They last longer
than screens, are durable and make it easy to create different shapes. We have bananas, hearts, regular rectangular sheets
and many more fun shapes! Becky Brandt, you taught me everything!

All these supplies were needed. First a cup for measuring (small cottage cheese container) to follow recipe, your table's blender (heavy duty extention cords talk about walking safety so no one trips!), a dish tub to contain the pulp and pour the pulp over the screen, resin coated magazine pages (a magazine-tear out one sheet and put name and class at the top with pencil-the paper will pull off easier when dry), sponges to soak up the water from the screen/pulp and to squeeze out the excess in the tub, and of course extra white paper that's old or used/recycled. I had students raise hand when the recipe was ready for paint and for me to pour in a color of their choice. Glitter was also an option. Dump out the extra excess pulp in the garbage from your blender and from the tub to start fresh with a new load of paper.

I told students to "KEEP IT CHUNKY" -like barf. Yes, barf. They were already screaming "EWWW GROOOOOSSS!" so I just ran with it. Keep it chunky-the paper pulp that is! I explained if you make it too thin it won't be thick enough to gently peel off your magazine. I had a good time teasing them pretending to barf as I showed how to pour it onto their screen.

Pour on top of screen, hold over tub and let some water strain out. Then make a barf you love my terminology? This means gently flip over the screen so it's on top and the pulp is the 'meat' and the other slice of bread is the magazine. I had the kids repeat the saying "SCREEN IS ON TOP!"   Gently sponge the top and keep squeezing out the sponge in your tub to get rid of the excess moisure. Gently trace your finger around the edge of the shaped screen. This will help the paper keep the shape of screen you chose. Go back to the screen selection table, gently peel off the screen off the top of the pulp and drop off. Carry to drying rack.

SCREEN ON TOP! Gently sponging and then tracing around edge.

Voil'a! Paper!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Kati! I've never done this with my students (hard to believe!)and the plastic canvas suggestion is genius! Thanks for a great tutorial(love the photo's. They really help)