Thursday, May 1, 2014

Clemmons State Park

 We went on a field trip to a new State Park we hadn't been to before.

 I'm pretty sure it was the best one we've been on all year! It was educational and FUN for the kids. The weather was glorious as well which always helps.

 They learned about predators and prey and played a game to learn how it has to stay balanced in order for it to work. There can't be too many predators OR too many prey.

 Owls, Mice, and the habitat (me)

 After the lesson we hiked up to learn how paper is made from trees and the History of it.

 Then each of the kids were able to make some paper!


    At Clemmons State Park I learned the history of how paper was made long ago and how they make it today. Early Babylonians used clay tablets to write on but found it to be tiresome when they had to start over because of dropping and cracking it. A few hundred years later, Egyptians came up with the idea of using papyrus. It was much easier to write on and store papyrus because it wouldn't break when dropped, and it was much lighter. Over the years other groups of people tried to come up with better ways to make it. In China they wrote on silks and bamboo grasses woven together but Tsai Lun didn't like that and started to think of a different process. He figured out how to make the first 'true' paper using the inside layers of a mulberry tree and water but it was a very long process.
    In 1799 Loats Robert invented the first paper making machine.  He figured out how to make paper by watching wasps build their nests. The wasps would chew up wood from the inside of a tree then spit it out to make their home. He went from using linen and cloth in the paper making machine to the inside of a tree.
    Today paper is made in factories. First they take all the bark off the tree and chop it into tiny pieces. Next machines boil the wood (until it becomes pulp) and dyes or bleach are used to turn it white. When the pulp is made it is put into giant rollers to flatten out and dry. Last they cut it, pack it, and send it on a truck to stores.
   We got to make paper today on our field trip. The pulp was already made so all we had to do was scoop some out on the deckle (a board with a wooden frame and a screen in the middle), sandwich it between material, then send it through the rollers. Braden scooped out the pulp with the deckle then dropped it onto the material. Next Ephram and I turned the rollers while he sent it through. Kinsey caught it and took the paper off before putting it on the rail to dry. I had fun learning how to make paper.


     A few days ago I went to Clemmons State Park for a field trip. It included learning about animals that are predators, prey, or ones who can be both. We also learned about the process of making paper and facts about different trees.  I learned how to make paper, too!
     Predators are animals that hunt, kill, then eat other animals. Cougars, lions, tigers, and bears are examples of predators. Prey are the animals that predators eat. Bugs, fish, cows, and chickens are examples of prey. Snakes, bird, and frogs are both predators and prey.
     We went on a talking tree hike and learned about all sorts of trees. They are one of the most important parts of nature. The sweet gum is a top producer of oxygen.  Like all trees, it needs the carbon dioxide we exhale and gives us oxygen. The white oak is a particularly useful habitat for animals. It has acorns as food and the animals can drink it's sap.  The yellow belly sap sucker (a bird who lives in the tree) gets it's food by drilling holes in the tree and drinking the sap. Yellow poplars are one of the most common trees in North Carolina. The poplar is easy to care for, grows fast, and is very hearty. A few other trees we learned about were the Loblolly pin, American Beech, Atlantic White Cedar, and the Eastern Red Cedar.
     The tree trunk is used to make paper. Tsai Lun was a Chinese man who created true paper. He didn't like what others wrote on which was bamboo or silk. Tsai Lun tried to think of a different way to make paper. He began with mixing the inner bark of a Mulberry tree with water. He poured the soupy mixture into a screen, flipped it onto a mat, covered it then flattened it out. When the paper dried he wrote on it and like it much better.
     Later a man named Loats Robert created a machine to make the paper in a faster way. Today we still use the same process as he did. I had a great time at the field trip learning about animals, trees, and how to make paper.


One day we went on a field trip to Clemmons State Park. When we got there we saw a rattle snake in a cage. Then we went to learn about trees. Next we played a game. The game was about predators and prey. Then we made paper. This is how you make paper: First you will need to have pulp, next you will need a deckle, and you will also need five people. Next we went to the talking tree trail. 

Ephram: (He dictated this word for word while I wrote it, before I typed it)

     We went to the state park where there were two forest rangers. They taught us about animals, we learned how to make paper out of trees, and we actually got to make real paper. He taught us about predators eating prey. We got to see owl pellets which is owl throw up. I found an awesome part of a tree before our hike. We went on a talking tree trail that taught us about a gum tree and all sorts of other trees.

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