Harvard Educational Review
  1. Teaching Hand Papermaking

    A Classroom Guide

    By Gloria Zmolek Smith.

    Cedar Rapids, IA: Zpaperpress, 1995. 181 pp. $24.95 (paper).

    There is an abundance of "How to Teach" guides available on many subjects, but few are as accessible, compelling, and adaptable as Teaching Hand Papermaking by Gloria Zmolek Smith. The author draws on her experience as a public school art teacher and artist-in-residence to create a book that provides the basics of hand papermaking along with practical suggestions for managing hand papermaking with groups of children and integrating hand papermaking with other classroom curricula, all easily manageable within any budget.

    The first three chapters describe the basics of hand papermaking. Through the use of photographs and text, the author describes tools and materials that can be purchased, found, or recycled. For example, Smith gives explicit instructions on how to make six different molds, the screen-covered frames on which paper is formed, from found objects such as an old wooden picture frame, duct tape and aluminum screen, needlepoint canvas, or an embroidery hoop. The author appropriately stresses that no matter what tools and materials are available in the classroom, students should learn the papermaking process using common, easily found objects so they have the option of making paper at home. Smith's practical, tried, and tested classroom experiences shine throughout the book. For example, she underscores the importance of labeling materials:

    Labeling reinforces the new vocabulary words that you hope students will learn and results in fewer mistakes. On the deckle, I write "deckle." On the top of the mold, I write "mold" and "put deckle on this side of mold." For non-readers, you can use a symbol, such as a smiley face. (p. 8)

    The chapter on sheetforming provides directions in eleven steps that are easily understood by both teacher and students. Throughout the book, photographs and diagrams accompany the text to help eliminate guesswork. Smith even provides a diagram showing a sample classroom set-up that may facilitate student movements as they move through the steps of the papermaking process.

    The subsequent chapters complement the basics, including topics such as using pulp as an art medium (such as the techniques of embossing and embedding), an annotated bibliography, and a list of resources and suppliers. One of the most interesting chapters deals with how to integrate hand papermaking into various curriculum areas connecting it creatively with language arts, history, science, and mathematics. For example, in the history section, one might typically expect to find a timeline and description of the history of hand papermaking, but Smith goes beyond this. She provides the history in the form of a story that the teacher can read aloud to students, complete with photographs and pictures that younger children can color.

    The chapter on the science of papermaking includes a question and answer section that thoroughly and clearly explains questions like, "How do fibers come together to make a piece of paper?" The answer includes an explanation of water molecules, the importance of their shape and how their bonding effect is analogous to a water spider that can walk on the surface of a pond without going under (pp. 98–100).

    Teaching Hand Papermaking is a first-rate resource book for teachers, students, parents, or anyone else who may want to learn about hand papermaking. I.H.
  2. Share


    Uncertain Allies
    Understanding the Boundaries of Race and Teaching
    By Marilyn Cochran-Smith
    The Four "I's" of School Reform
    How Interests, Ideology, Information, and Institution Affect Teachers and Principals
    By Carol H. Weiss
    Total Quality Management in the Academy
    A Rebellious Reading
    By Estela Mara Bensimon
    A Postmodern Vision of Time and Learning
    A Response to the National Education Commission Report "Prisoners of Time"
    By Patrick Slattery
    Crossing Borders/Shifting Paradigms
    Multiculturalism and Children's Literature
    By Elaine G. Schwartz

    Book Notes

    Urban Sanctuaries
    By Milbrey McLaughlin, Merita Irby, and Juliet Langman

    By John Edgar Wideman.

    Children Solving Problems
    By Stephanie Thornton

    The Smart Parent's Guide to Kids' TV
    By Milton Chen

    New Directions in Portfolio Assessment
    Edited by Laurel Black, Donald A. Daiker, Jeffrey Sommers, and Gail Stygal.

    The Tao of Teaching
    By Greta Nagel

    Emergent Curriculum
    By Elizabeth Jones and John Nimmo.

    Teaching Hand Papermaking
    By Gloria Zmolek Smith.

    Postmodern Theory
    By Steven Best and Douglas Kellner.

    Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes
    By Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw.

    Towards Inclusive Schools
    Edited by Catherine Clark, Alan Dyson, and Alan Millward.

    Fabled Cities, Princes and Jinn from Arab Myths and Legends
    By Kharirat Al-Saleh; illustrations by Rashad Salim.

    Educational Action Research
    Edited by Susan E. Noffke and Robert B. Stevenson.

    By Terry Eagleton