Inventions 3 – Paper making

Enquiry: What was the most significant invention pre-1500?

Before you start find your three R cards from Inventions 1.

How significant was the invention of paper making?

TASK 1: The invention of paper making

  1. Read the following extract to learn about the invention of paper.
    If the text is too detailed only read the information in bold.

The most recent archaeological evidence shows that paper making was invented in the Dunhuang, China over 2000 years ago. Historians cite the invention taking place between 140 to 87 BC. Paper very quickly became a desirable product in China. The first process used to make paper included many stages and took a long time. When paper was first invented it was used to wrap expensive items but its use as a product to write on was quickly realised. This increased it popularity and paper making spread across the Arabic world. People were already writing before the invention of paper. They were recording information on animal skins, tree barks and other materials but these materials were expensive. Europeans showed little interest in paper making until the Middle Ages It was not until the invention of the printing press that paper making came very popular across Europe. The process of paper making as been updated over the centuries. Improvements have enabled the amount produced to increase, size and quality.

Archaeological: the scientific study of remains (such as tools, pottery) of past human life and activities.

BC: In the modern calendar, we label all years with B.C. (before Christ) or A.D. (anno domini, or “in the year of our lord”). In this system, the year Christ was born is 1 A.D., and the year before it is 1 B.C.

TASK 2: What do we use paper for?

  1. Create a mind map to show all the different ways paper is used. You can record your ideas as images or words.
    There are many ideas you could include from toilet roll to coffee filters and lots in between. Spend at least 10 minutes on this task. To complete this task leave your device. Look around you, ask people you are in connect with.

TASK 3: How significant was the invention of paper making?

  1. Based on Task Two do you think the invention of paper was significant?
    Find evidence in your mind map to prove the invention of paper making was significant.
    Highlight evidence that proves it was remarkable, remembered and resulted in change.

Click here here for the 3 Rs

Remarkable: at the time or since
Worthy of attention, amazing

Remembered: it was important to a group of people
People have not forgotten it

Resulted in change: had consequences for the future
It led to other things happening

TASK 4: Write one paragraph for a historical journal on the significance of the invention of paper making.
You must include:
* your opinion on the significance of paper making
* historical terminology – the 3 R’s
* specific evidence

Need more help? Click on the help zone

Write your journal entry using a PEEL paragraph. This will make sure your opinion is expressed clearly and supported with evidence.

POINT: make your point. Was it significant?
The evidence shows that the invention of paper making was …

EVIDENCE: support your point with facts and examples.
This is clearly shown by its impact on …

EXPLAIN: how your evidence supports your point.
Here use the 3 Rs – remember, remarkable, resulted in change.

LINK: back to the main point.
Overall, it is clear that paper marking had a …

Well done. You have completed your learning.


Will technology replace paper?

* Collect evidence where this has already happened.
* Collect evidence where it will hard, at present, for paper to be replaced.
* Discuss with people you are in connect with
– do you agree with each other? Why?