This month I want to share 3 easy ideas on how to use those mountains of newspapers that well meaning parents bring in for your class to use. I don't know about you but I just cannot say "No" when parents bring things in for our class to use, which means some years I have lots of magazines and newspapers piled up.
I am going to share a few quick ideas on how to get rid of those papers in a way that is useful and dare I say even educational.
1. Let's get arty!
Papers are an ideal way to stop getting the tables messed up when you are painting in the classroom. We have a large art table that we often use for group art work and I like to cover the area with newspapers for a quick clean up. Students can also put one piece of newspaper on their individual tables to stop any crayon or markers making a mess on the table. Easy clean up, straight in the recycle bin or fold it up for next time.
Papier mache is a messy and fun activity that my kiddos always love to do. Most people would be familiar with covering a balloon with strips of newspaper that has been soaked in a glue mixture ( I mix equal parts of PVA glue with water) then let the balloon covered mess dry by hanging it up somewhere it can drip. When it is dry students pop the balloon and are left with a hard round shell. What you do with this is up to the imagination. Here are some ideas
- Paint a face on it and make it into a puppet
- Turn it into a pinata by filling it with surprises or treats and paint it in bright colors, cover small hole with some paper, hang and use for parties or Cinca de Mayo.
- Use a leftover plastic bottle, thread two rubber bands through the edge near the opening, then loop those bands over the top of the plastic bottle. Paint a face on the balloon, now you have a bobble head! Decorate the bottle to be the body.
- Papier mache a plastic plate of bowl and when dry trim the edges and paint as a gift for students to give to for and special events eg Mothers/Fathers Day, Easter, Christmas.
Newspaper is a softer paper that is easy to scrunch up, it can be used to fill plastic or paper bags as filling or to create a puffy look when making paper crafts. You can also use newspaper to create a 3D look when making dioramas.
2. Look and ye shall find!
Newspapers are full of text, which is a major component of our day. I often give my students a page from a newspaper, a magnifying glass and a highligher, what they are searching for will change depending on the topic or concept we are looking at. Some of the things my kiddos have searched for include
- letters and sounds
- high frequency words
- parts of speech (adjectives, verbs, nouns, capitals etc)
- parts of text (headings, sub headings, paragraphs, etc)
- types of text (report, procedure, persuasive etc)
3. Measuring up!
Newspapers are a an easy tool to use for measuring.
Length- Give all students on double page of the newspaper and challenge them to make the longest paper chain they can. Students can tear or cut strips, then measure the length to find who's is longest. This can be followed up with a discussion on why one is longer than the other with the consideration that everyone started with the same size.
Perimeter- Students can measure the area around the edge of newspapers
Area- Students can use different objects to measure the area of a newspaper page or use the page to fill an area that is drawn on the ground with chalk.
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