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Lesson Plans
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OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Prep for Teachers

Prior to this lesson, bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom. Load the Shockwave plug-in (available free from http://www.macromedia.com) onto each computer as well. Prepare the hands-on element of the lesson by:
  1. Collecting old papers for recycling
  2. Building screens for paper molds. You will need window screen, doubled and stapled to a wooden frame. A 6-8" square frame is easily manageable for the students.
  3. Copying "History of Paper Fact Sheet" and "Steps to Making Handmade Paper" worksheet per each group of 4-5 students.
When using media, provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia elements.
Introductory Activities: Setting the Stage

Step 1:

Ask students to look around the classroom and collect all the products they can find that come from trees. Have additional products available, such as fruits, nuts, rubber bands, wrapping paper, and birthday cards. Discuss the variety and abundance of products we use that come from trees.

Step 2:

Log on to http://www.afandpa.org/kids_educators/forestfacts.cfm#anchor29605. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to recount the information pertaining to the history of paper. Ask questions to CHECK their comprehension. How many pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) does a tree need to grow one pound of wood? (1.47 lbs.) How many pounds of oxygen does a tree give off? (1.07 lbs.) Name other objects made from trees. (Houses, furniture, baseball bats, clothing, toothpaste.)

Step 3:

Log on to http://www.afandpa.org/kids_educators/2renewable.cfm. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to explain some of the important uses of trees. Ask them to define CO2 (carbon dioxide). Why do we depend on trees? (For oxygen.) List other uses of trees. (Shade, moisture, to cool the air, food, wood for shelter and furniture.)

Step 4:

Log on to http://www.afandpa.org/kids_educators/wood_you.cfm. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to review their knowledge of trees by taking the True/False quiz. (The answer to every question on the quiz is "true.")

Step 5:

Log on to http://www.ipst.edu/amp/collection/museum_forerunners.htm. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to explore the different kinds of paper made throughout history. (Kinds of paper include: clay tablets – the pictograms had evolved into wedge-shaped characters that were carved into soft clay that later dried into hard tablets; bark cloth – made by beating moistened sections of bark with a serrated beater. Sections of this bark cloth were joined with vegetable adhesives and gums; leaves and leaf books – leaves of the bai-lan tree, which are similar to palm leaves, were trimmed, flattened, and polished smooth with sand; rice paper/pith paper is cut spirally from the inner pith of the kung-shu or Fatsiapapyrifera plant; papyrus – made from the smooth, triangular stalks of the plant, harvested and peeled, and the pith was sliced and pounded together in strips, then polished smooth with a stone, bone, or shell.)


Learning Activities

Step 1:

CUE the video What's Up in the Environment? to the image of the earth spinning when the host Elan says, "So what's up with global warming?" Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to identify the human activities that affect the environment. PLAY the segment and PAUSE when Elan says, "Yeah, Einstein," while they are walking in the forest.

Discuss our activities (using machines, driving cars, burning fuels) and how these affect the changes in the weather. Ask students how some of our everyday activities can affect our environment in such a negative way. Ask the students if they can think of some alternatives to using machines and driving cars (riding buses and bicycles and carpooling).

Step 2:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to define the Greenhouse Effect theory. PLAY the tape from the previous pause point. PAUSE at the graphic on the screen after the explanation and the host says, "...forms a blanket which holds heat close to the earth." On the television screen, have a student trace the image of arrows and the earth's atmosphere to label the theory of global warming (be sure to use a dry erase marker). Ask students to define the Greenhouse Effect theory (gases, including carbon dioxide, rise and trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere).

Step 3:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to define and describe a biosphere. PLAY the tape from the previous pause point. PAUSE the tape at the close-up of the waterfall, when the host, Adam says, "...do experiments without interfering with the real planet earth." Review the explanation of this Arizona-based biosphere (an airtight greenhouse covering 3 acres of land that performs experiments on plants and trees). Discuss scientists' reasons for protecting the actual earth by performing experiments in isolated situations.

Step 4:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to predict why scientists are performing these experiments. PLAY the tape from the previous pause point. PAUSE when the scientist, John, is putting on a safety harness and saying, "...what it may be like 100 to 200 years from now." Discuss the control of temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide to forecast the effects on the environment. Ask the students to consider the use of the safety harness. Also have students predict what they think the environment may be like 100 to 200 years from now. (Student answers will vary.)

Step 5:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to explain the importance of the rain forest. PLAY the segment and PAUSE at the close-up of the leaf when Adam says, "...and they produce oxygen." Discuss that the rain forest takes in 1/3 of all carbon dioxide and keeps the air clean. Show an example of how much 1/3 is through a diagram of a pie chart, so the students can grasp the enormousness of this concept.

Step 6:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to define plant respiration. PLAY the segment and PAUSE at the close-up of Adam to define plant respiration (plant respiration occurs when trees release oxygen at night). Review the needs of trees. (Sunlight, water, carbon dioxide.) Also, what do scientists predict will happen to the atmosphere's intake of carbon dioxide? (It will double in 100 years.)

Step 7:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to define a "sink" and what we can do to help the environment. PLAY this last segment and STOP the video on the image of the host, Dr. Griffin, after he says, "If we all chip in, maybe we can help the situation." Discuss possible ways that people can help. (Ride bicycles, turn off lights.)


Cross-Curricilar Extensions

Step 1:

CUE the video Materials We Need to the image of a tree being cut down, when the narrator says, "Wood is the raw material for the world's paper." This is after the segment on the making of paper maché. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to define fiber. PLAY the segment and PAUSE at the close-up of paper, magnified to show the fibers when the narrator says, "Can you see the fibers?" Discuss that fibers are the tiny pieces of wood that are the starting point of making paper.

Step 2:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to express why we need to recycle paper. RESUME the video and PAUSE at the image of the truck moving stacks of recycled paper, when the narrator says, "...saves us cutting down trees." Discuss ways the students can collect paper waste in the school and at home. Refer to the first video shown and review the importance of trees.

Step 3:

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to observe the steps followed to produce paper. The screen will split into two screens, the right side shows how paper is actually made in a factory and the left side shows two children making handmade paper. PLAY the segment when the narrator says, "Here's how you make paper." STOP the video segment at the image of the newly grown tree, before the cartoon, when the narrator says, "Plant a new tree for every one we cut down." Discuss the process of replanting trees. List the steps taken to make handmade paper to prepare for the activity (see steps 5-10 below). You may choose to REWIND and REPLAY this segment, having students focus on one side of the screen each time to review the necessary steps taken to make new paper. Have students compare the process in factories to the process of making handmade paper.

Step 4:

Tear recycled paper into tiny pieces. Blend or mix pieces with water until it becomes a pulp-consistency. Have students look closely at the fibers of different kinds of paper. Discuss their observations. How does newspaper fiber and notebook paper compare? Are there differences in the fibers of envelopes?

Step 5:

Fill the tub 3/4 full of water. Tell students that they are making "pulp." Add several handfuls of pulp and shake hand in tub to separate the fibers. Avoid splashing. Discuss this process of using water to break apart the fibers.

Step 6:

Hold the screen frame tightly, with the stapled side away from you. Place arms in front of you and then drop them into the tub. Pull your arms toward you and then lift them up. Shake side to side. This method will help in collecting more paper pulp on the screen.

Step 7:

Allow the water to drain through the screen. (When water becomes a drip, rather than a stream of water, it is ready.)

Step 8:

Place screen onto a damp cloth, press down, then slowly rock the screen and lift. The handmade paper remains. Have students observe the mix of papers that created their individual sheets of handmade paper. Can they find pieces of newspaper or colored paper? Can they find letters or words from the original recycled paper?

Step 9:

Place a cloth or blotting paper on top of the handmade paper and gently press with a rolling pin to squeeze out excess water. Advise students that the pulp will not easily dry and bond to form strong paper if left too wet.

Step 10:

Place the handmade paper either on a dry tabletop or directly on a window sill. When the paper dries (overnight), it will easily peel off.

You may add a variety of materials to the handmade paper. To make colored paper, add a few drops of food coloring to the water. You may also add glitter to the pulp for sparkled paper. Adding tiny pieces of leaves to the water will enhance the concept of recycling all parts of the tree, and add a natural touch to the paper.

To make "waterproof" paper to write on with water-soluble pens, add liquid starch to the water. The starch will form a protective coating on the paper; otherwise the pen or marker will dissolve the handmade paper when written on.


Cross-Curricilar Extensions

MATH

Graph the amount of paper waste collected daily from your classroom. Discuss how the class can decrease the amount of garbage thrown out.

SCIENCE
Research animals that make their home in trees. Explore the impact of their loss of habitat as more and more trees are destroyed.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Visit the Columbia Biosphere Web site at http://www.bio2.columbia.edu/virtualtour/lower_rainforest.htm for a virtual tour as well as to learn about other experiments. Investigate other recyclable items (plastic, glass, metal). Find out the processes used to recycle and their impact on the environment. Discover alternative solutions.
Further explore global warming and other environmental happenings at Thirteen/WNET's What's Up in the Environment? Web site at http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/wue/resources_air.html

CAREER EDUCATION

Explore careers in environmental studies at Thirteen/WNET's What's Up in the Environment? Web site at http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/wue/cool_careers.html.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Research your state's tree. New York's state tree is the Sugar Maple.

WRITING

Have students write a story from the point of view of a tree. What kind of tree would you choose, and where does it live? What are some of the animals that live in it? What does it need to grow? How does it feel about being cut down for tree products?

ART
View Reading Rainbow: Stay Away From the Junkyard. Discover the "art" of recycling, when an artist collects trash to create sculpture.

ART
Collect fresh green leaves to make leaf rubbings and leaf prints.

LANGUAGE ARTS
Read the following children's books:

Earth Book. Schwartz, Linda.
Earth Day. Lowery, Linda.
The Gift of the Tree
. Tressell, Alvin.
The Giving Tree. Silverstein, Shel.
The Great Kappock Tree. Cherry, Lynne.
The Lorax. Dr. Seuss
Mother Earth. Luenn, Nancy.
Save the Earth. Miles, Betty.
Trees. Behm, Harry.
Trees are Nice. Udry, Janice.


Community Connections
  • Visit a recycling plant. Contact the Bronx Community Paper Company at www.bronxpaper.org for a tour of their facilities.

  • Take a field trip to the Bronx Zoo's Tropical Rainforest exhibit.

  • Take a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History. See a giant redwood and tour the Hall of Biodiversity.

  • Visit the Central Park or Prospect Park Conservancy and learn more about Urban Forests.

  • Plant a tree in your neighborhood.