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Grow Plants From Paper

Author: ClimateScience
Grades: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Subject: Science
Format: PDF
Resource Types:
  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet
  • Activity, 90 minutes
Synopsis
  • In this activity, students will use old paper to make new seed paper which can be planted to grow native wildflowers. 
  • Students will learn that recycling is a way to conserve natural resources like trees. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This activity is practical and engaging.
  • Both the teacher's guide and the handout provide easy-to-follow steps for making seed paper.
  • The resource provides links to more information about the paper industry, recycling, and waste.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will have to soak the used paper in advance.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of a plant's life cycle.

Differentiation

  • This activity would be a great project for Earth Day or any gift-giving holiday.
  • Students could raise awareness about recycling paper in the school community by using their seed paper to make educational signs that can be planted in the school garden.
  • Students could keep a log of all the trash they throw away in a day and brainstorm ways to produce less trash.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the social and environmental costs of recycling certain plastics, this Vox video about the rules of recycling, and these upcycling projects
Scientist Notes
This activity guides students through the process of using old waste paper (such as newspapers that have been pre-processed by the teacher) to create recycled paper to which seeds are added. The activity is simple (although it requires some preparation from the teacher) and focuses on concepts of waste and recycling. This activity is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.K-2 Identify ways to take action to help address local, regional, and global problems.

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