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The Greatest Show on EarthIndian Nations Council

Thumb tacks


1. Stretch the paper across the stump, tack it down.

2. Rub the charcoal across the paper. Rub in just ONE direction.

3. Soon the tree rings and other marks will show through. When done, take the paper off the tree.

4. While you are still at the stump, mark the center of the tree on your rubbing. Count off the rings and mark every tenth year.

Here's what to look for to reveal your tree's story:

1. The number of rings tells you how old the tree was when it was cut down.

2. Look at the growth rings. Are some wider? These probably show years when there was lots of rain. Are some narrower? These may have been dry years.

3. Was the tree growing evenly in all directions? If it grew more on one side than the other, can you see any reasons for it? For example, was it crowded on one side?

Bark Rubbing


Thin sheets of white paper


Masking tape

Find a tree with interesting marking on its bark. Use masking tape to tape the paper to the tree. Rub the side of the crayon over the paper until the markings on the bark show up clearly on the paper.

New Paper From Newspaper

Recycle some paper and do your part to save trees.

Materials you will need:

8 pages of newspaper

Extra newspaper

A plastic bucket

A medium size saucepan

Liquid dishwashing detergent

A colander

An electric blender

A large mixing bowl and stirring spoon

A square of fine wire mesh, about 8x8

10 to 12 clean absorbent cloths

A heavy book or other weight

¥ Tear the newspaper into long, thin strips. Put the strips in the bucket and cover them with tap water. Leave them to soak overnight.               

¥ Next morning, pour off any water that has not soaked into the paper. Put the paper into the saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent to the saucepan. Cover the paper with water again.

¥ Put the saucepan on the stove, and heat it on low heat for 2 hours. Every once in awhile, check to make sure the paper is still covered with water. Add a little water if you need to.

¥ Over the sink, carefully pour the mixture of water and paper mush from the saucepan into the colander. The water will pass through, and the paper mush will stay in the colander.

¥ Run cold water over the paper mush in the colander. Stir the paper a bit to help the water strain through.

Page XBugs, Bark, Birds, and Boys

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