You Told it, Now Fold it!
Lesson 5 of 6
Objective: SWBAT estimate how many times they can fold different types of paper by using the properties they've learned about each type of paper.
I engage the kids by having them sit at their tables and write a letter to a family member about their favorite thing to do in school. They are provided a letter-formatted writing page that can be found in this lessons resources.
I give the kids 5 minutes to write the letter. I do not concern myself with content or spelling at this time. I will revisit the letters with them during our writing time later in the day.
I set a timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, the kids must stop writing and come sit down on the floor. They are told to leave the letters at their tables.
I do this to get the kids curious about what we are about to do. I want them guessing why we are writing a letter in science. It will soon be clear to them why we wrote letters in science!
The kids are seated on the floor as I give the instructions.I take out a bag of different kind of paper samples that I prepare for the kids the day before.
I tell the kids that their job today is to make an envelope for their letters. I show them the papers that are inside the bags and tell them that their job is to try to fold each paper as many times as they can and choose the one they think would make the best envelope.
I explain to them that we want to use a paper that's strong, but can be folded easily. If the paper is too hard, then we can fold it into an envelope. If the paper is too weak, then it won't be sturdy enough to survive the trip home in the backpack.
After I demonstrate, I call on team at a time to go sit at their tables where there is a tub with a bag of materials for each student. I ask the table leaders to pass them out to everyone at their table.
I ask the kids to take out one paper at a time and fold it as many times as they can. They are to put the paper back in the bag as they fold them, e.g. fold the construction paper as many times as you can and put it back in your bag. They do this for each paper sample.
Once everyone has folded their paper samples and placed them back in the bag, I have the kids bring the bags to the floor with them. I have them take out one paper sample at a time and I show them how t count how many folds they made in it by unfolding it. After they unfold and count the folds in each paper, I have the kids turn to their floor partner and tell how many folds they had made. I then do a quick survey of how many folds by a raise of hands when I call out numbers beginning with 1. I never have to go past 8. I record on the board the number the majority of students indicated they folded each type of paper. This will help us determine which paper would make the best envelope.
When we have gone through all the paper samples, we review the information recorded on the board. I ask the kids to choose the paper they think would make the best envelope and to turn to their floor partner to share which one they chose and why.
I then choose four random students to share their thoughts by pulling name sticks from a name stick can. We then vote on which paper is best to use.
The kids remain on the floor and I have them use the chart for them to develop their own explanation of what paper or papers would be best to make an envelope. I ask them what properties are we looking for in a paper to make an envelope? I do this to get the kids to make connections between the data we collected on folding different kinds of paper and the poster we created for the properties of different papers.
I look for the following:
- easily folded
- sticks together strongly with glue
- can be written on with pen, pencil or marker
I call on volunteers to share their ideas. I take down the properties on paper chart next to a sample of each type of paper. I guide the kids in using the properties of paper and matching it with how many times we were able to fold the paper. We look for one paper that stands out and would make the best choice for making an envelope.
As a class, we decide on the construction paper to use for our envelopes.
Predicting this would be the result because all my past classes picked construction paper, I prepare copies with folding lines on them for the kids to make the envelopes in the evaluation section of this lesson.
The evaluation takes place at the tables. The table captains get a cut & glue envelope pattern for each student at their table.
The kids cut on the solid lines, fold on the dotted lines and use glue sticks to seal the edges.
When they are finished, they are called back to the floor one table at a time with their letters and envelopes. They share their work with their floor partner. I choose three kids to share their work with the whole class.
To close the lesson, I show this 5 minute video on how envelopes are made.