We don't really think about them much... kids bring their lunches in them, we put groceries in them, and sometimes they carry our last minute take-out meal. Paper bags. Paper bags have been around since the mid 1800s and, according to what I have read, haven't changed much in all these year. Why mess with a good thing, I guess.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves! Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year:
Ask your students to think outside the box, or should I say "inside the bag" for classroom projects. Creating an art piece and then filling the bag with items connected to the subject is a great way to connect art and content. Students could:
- draw a self portrait and fill the bag with items about themselves.
- draw an animal in its habitat and fill with items related to the animal studied.
- do a book report by drawing a scene or a character on the bag and then fill it with items the character might have or need in the story.
- do a historical research project. Students could draw a historical figures and fill the bag with "artifacts" related to the person or time period.
I'm sure there are more ideas. If you think of any, please share them with us in the comment section.
|This project was inspired by a pin on Pinterest. You can find it HERE.|
In my class, I don't send student artwork home with students until Open House in the spring. Instead, I share pictures of the artwork on our class Facebook group and display the originals in the halls at school. When the artwork is taken down, we put our artwork in the portfolios. Every year I purchase poster board for students to make art portfolios with. While looking for ideas for this post I came across a pin on Pinterest about making art portfolios. You can find the pin HERE.
Using large grocery bags to make the portfolios is mind-blowing for me! First, I love to recycle and reuse as much as possible. This is a perfect example of that. Second, paper bags are strong and with a little duct tape, you have a sturdy, attractive art portfolio for students to house their artwork all year long. As an added bonus, a lot of grocery bags have handles already built in (The ones I used in the picture didn't so I made my own.) which makes carrying the portfolios easy.
Interactive Notebooks are all the rage... and great teaching tools to boot! Use small lunch bags to create pockets for storing small items such as vocabulary cards, index cards, and other items that need to keep contained.
The third things are these great little side pockets made with the ends of the bag.
I love these little books and have been thinking about how they could be used in the classroom. My first thought is as poetry books. there is a lot of space to house poems and creatively illustrate student writing.
Another idea would be to make a personal journal/keepsake/scrap book from another person's point of view. As with the paper bag art above, students could use book characters or historical figures. This would take some critical thinking on the part of the student and would be a wonderful end of novel or unit project. Hmmm... Very interesting...
Another great use for paper bags is to use them for journal covers. I wrote a whole blog post on how to make these pioneer journals. You can read it HERE.
Just like some ideas mentioned above, puppets can be used for traditional reports on historical figures, book characters, and animals reports. But take a moment to ask your students to think a bit more abstractly. What would a puppet of the cell look like? What would it say? How about a stomach, a germ, or even a volcano? Think about the concepts you are teaching and challenge your students to come up with puppets and scripts to present what they have learned to the class. This would be a wonderful alternative to the traditional exam or report!
It's summer and I don't have any puppets hanging out there at home, but I did find a lot of ideas for paper bag puppets on Pinterest. here are just a couple:
I'm awful at remembering birthdays. Even my own family's. One year I totally forgot my husband's birthday, which is in September... bad timing with back-to-school and all! Eventually he forgave me, but because I am so bad with dates, I have to do everything I can to help myself remember these special occasions.
In the classroom I've helped myself by displaying students' birthday goody bags by month on one of the classroom walls. It doesn't take up much room and saves me a ton of time. Checking the birthday display now and then I get a quick peek at the birthdays for the month and have a birthday bag all prepared for each student. No more scrambling to find those "Happy Birthday" pencils and stickers... they are already packaged and ready to go!
Paper bags are an easy answer for this display. The personalized bag tags dress them up and they hang nicely when stapled to the wall.
This summer I've worked on designing a brand new Birthday Display pack I'll be using in my own classroom. I'm very excited to get it up on my wall this fall! It includes editable bag tags and birthday book marks, 6 different birthday coupons, pencil flags, month headers, birthday crown, and "Happy Birthday" bulletin board letters. This will make my year so much easier!
It's a brand new upload to my TpT store, so I'm selling it for 50% off through July! Click on the product cover to take a look at it.
And now, because you stuck around through all 7 of the ideas above... Here is #8 and a FREEBIE for Back to School!
About Me Bags are a great way to get to know your students at the beginning of the school year. Glue these tags to the front of your brown paper bags and hand out the first week of school. Don't forget to fill your own bags so students learn a little bit about you. This is also a great opportunity to model for your class how to present their bags to the class. As an added extension, use the bags as a writing prompt to learn about how to write a great paragraph or a longer 5 paragraph essay!
Click HERE to get your free download of About Me Bags Tags!
So there you have it! 8 Creative and clever uses for using paper bags in the classroom! I hope that this post has inspired you to try at least one of these ideas this coming school year! I know that I've inspired myself and I can't wait to see what other great ideas you all have for using this everyday item in new and interesting ways!
|Please pin me.|
Thanks for visiting and I hope you all have a GREAT Back to school!