Exploring PAPER Resources





Overview of Exploring Paper Unit

This unit allows youth to explore paper in a variety of ways. Working in teams during after-school activity time, youth have the opportunity to ask and answer the following questions:

What is paper made of? Where does paper come from?

Youth closely examine paper and the papermaking process. They compare and contrast different types of papers and discover that paper is made up of fibers. Youth then explore how paper is made and consider the natural resources used in the process. They also have the opportunity to make their own paper.

How do we use paper in our lives? What impact does our use of paper have on the environment?

Youth explore the multiple ways they interact with paper on a daily basis. They estimate the amount of paper they use in one day and then use this information to estimate the amount of paper their community uses in a single day. Next, youth are asked to talk with their families to find out their experiences with paper in other times and places. Youth then are asked to consider their own beliefs about recycling, survey their family regarding their views, and then analyze the information to determine why people do not recycle as often as they could. Finally youth are asked to reflect on what they could do to reduce, reuse or recycle paper.

What are some of the properties of paper? How do those properties allow us to use paper in different ways?

Youth explore the strength of paper and its ability to absorb water. They test different papers to determine which is strongest and explore how folding paper into different shapes can influence its strength. They also design a paper airplane that can fly at least 30 feet. Youth then have the opportunity to use their spatial reasoning abilities to investigate a one-sided, continuous loop of paper called a Möbius Strip. Next they test the strength and absorbency of several different brands of paper towels to determine which they would purchase. Finally, youth use the absorbent properties of paper towels to solve a mystery!


Purchase AXIS Paper Unit

Intercultural Center for Research in Education (INCRE)
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