EtonHouse Inspirations: Sustainability and impact on the environment - an inquiry project on ‘paper’

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“Where does paper come from?” This question led to an exciting investigation by a group of children at EtonHouse 718 Mountbatten Road that aligned with the central idea ‘Our interactions with the environment and resources impact their sustainability'.

One group that was interested in investigating the paper making process discussed the following ideas:

“They put the paper in the machine. The machine has something inside.”

“There is a rolling pin that makes it flat and there is a white paint to make it white.” “Different paper comes from different trees.”

“To make paper colourful they put ink on the paper.”

The inquiry continued to highlight different perspectives. In small groups, children engaged in an investigative process of looking closely at the processes of recycling and papermaking. Conversations also led to the importance of taking action and bringing awareness in the community. In collaboration with the teachers, the children spent time researching how to recycle different materials and making paper out of used paper. As such, the idea of sharing knowledge with the other classes, teachers and family members started to take shape.

One of the groups decided to create a book about the process of making recycled paper.

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“We put pulp from blender into the tub.”

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“Please wait for your turn to use frame and make paper.”

“Put shredded paper into the blender with lots of water.”

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“Press the stool on top of the paper.”

“We shred the paper with shredding machine.”

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“We press with a sponge.”

During the making of this book, the children enjoyed writing down their thoughts and valuing their efforts in the process. They confidently applied their knowledge of letter sounds and conventions of written text to represent their ideas in writing. This experience also created opportunities to address social aspects such as identification of roles, rights and responsibilities in society.

Another group was keen to record a video to demonstrate the process of making paper and use this media to communicate their message on sustainable living.

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“We can make a video for the parents and everybody else so they can make paper without cutting more trees.”

The children then organized a charity sale of handmade paper. The preparation for the sale started with organising a few necessary materials such as a sign ‘Recycled paper for sale, $4’, a charity box for collecting money and beautifully decorated sheets of handmade recycled paper while exploring plenty of opportunities to learn about money and accounting.

The children came together, at the end, to reflect on their experiences and the projects they worked on throughout the term. They analysed the results from the recycled paper sales as a part of their initiative to raise awareness on the use of paper and its impact on nature.

Their confidence in interacting with the community also progressed visibly. This was evident when the children initiated and took charge of leading a conversation with the community by asking and answering questions in relation to their work.

This is a wonderful way to develop skills around literacy and social competence, gain knowledge on scientific processes and sustainability and nurture dispositions on community learning and social responsibility.

Visit EtonHouse Mountbatten 718 to learn more about our unique inquiry-based curriculum. 

EtonHouse Mounbatten 718

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