Learning how to save paper

Learning how to save paper

I can reduce my paper use.

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Learning how to save paper

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Students learn all about paper and learn ways to save paper.


NGSS: K-ESS3-3; 4-ESS3-2

Learning objective

Students will be able to reduce their paper use.


Students are challenged to think about paper and paper products. What do you use daily that is made of paper? What are paper products made of? Divide the class into two teams. The team that is able to list the most paper products in 2 minutes wins. Have the class share what they came up with and see if there are more that weren't mentioned in the list given.


Tell students that we use a lot of paper each year, with the average American using 650 pounds of paper each year! If everyone saves paper or uses just a little less paper, we can make a huge impact! Explain to students that when we save paper we save trees, and trees are extremely important for life on Earth. Not only because trees help produce oxygen, but they are home to 80% of plant and animal species. Show students a selection of animals that live in forests. Explain to students that trees are integral to the environment, helping to absorb carbon. Trees can be compared to lungs in humans. Teach students the three "R's": Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Explain each of the three "R's" and give examples of how we can reduce, reuse and recycle paper. Reducing is the most powerful way we can save paper- explain that it means thinking about our paper use before we use it, and deciding if we need to use paper in all situations. Show some small paper-saving habits and see if the class can come up with more. You can also reduce paper use by using paper-alternatives- show the list and see if the class can come up with others. Recycled paper products provide an alternative when it really is easiest or best to use a paper product. Try to use recycled paper products because that reuses the paper and means that no new trees need to be cut down. Reuse your paper products by not throwing them in the trash right away. Give examples of ways to reuse paper and ask students how they would reuse the items shown. Another way to reuse paper products is to donate; donating is a great way to give paper products a new life. You can donate books, magazines, and party decorations to a thrift store, library or charity. The final "R" is Recycling. Recycled paper is used to make new paper products, which means fewer trees are destroyed to make paper. Take a moment to look up the paper recycling rules for your city. What are the rules? One important rule is that paper cannot have food or liquid on it. Move the pictures to see if you can recycle these paper products. Show some of the 5,000 paper products that can be made from recycled paper.


Remind students that reducing your paper use can help save tons of paper and tons of trees. Using information you learned about the three R's (reduce, reuse and recycle) students are now able to reduce their own paper use.

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About Gynzy

Gynzy is an online teaching platform for interactive whiteboards and displays in schools.

With a focus on elementary education, Gynzy’s Whiteboard, digital tools, and activities make it easy for teachers to save time building lessons, increase student engagement, and make classroom management more efficient.

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