How to Make Paper Bag Trees

During the class of February 16th, the kids finished up their coffee filter butterflies and also make some paper bag trees. Before starting the paper bag trees, I read The Great Kapok Tree which is a book about a man chopping down a huge Kapok tree that housed many different animals. Throughout the book, various animals came down to the man to tell him why he shouldn’t chop the tree down. The importance of the forest and trees was stressed and the basics of an ecosystem were touched upon. I asked the kids to recite why the big tree was so important.

After that, we started to make a paper bag tree, which was really fun because it was very hands on. The kids did well with listening but did struggle a little bit with the complexity of twisting the paper tight enough without ripping it.

Overall, this was the best class we’ve had so far. The kids are a lot more responsive and actually remember my name! Their enthusiasm is contagious and the insight they provide is surprisingly.. insightful. They are quite the bright bunch of kiddos and I am so happy with all of the progress they are making!

How to make the paper bag tree:

First, you will need scissors, brown paper lunch bags, glue, and tissue paper or torn up pieces of construction paper (green, yellow, orange, brown). Here are the steps in making the tree itself:

  1. With the bag still folded and flat, cut from the top of the bag (the side which it opens) two inch sections that run half way down the bag towards the bottom.
  2. Next, open the bag so that the cut strips are at the top and the bottom retains its rectangular shape.
  3. Using both hands, twist the middle of the bag so that the middle becomes the trunk of the tree. Let the bottom of the bag be where the roots are and the top where it is cut, the branches.
  4. Using two of the cut strips, twist them together to create branches.
  5. You may have to twist certain parts of the tree tighter than others
  6. Have the kids glue the tissue paper or construction paper to the branches

After this craft, it would be useful to go over the parts of the tree and ask the kids what season their tree is in according to the colors of the leaves they glued on.

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