Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fun Activities To Do With Leaves

Leaves are very important to plants! Leaves are the parts of the plants that make the food for the plant (photosynthesis).

Here are an assortment of activities with leaves for different ages and ability groups.

 1.Collect leaves. Science

 2.Observe leaves with a hand lens. Science

 3. Count, sort (color, shade, texture, shape), and trace (real or cardboard cutouts)
     leaves. Do you have an even or odd number of leaves? Math & Science

 4. Describe the leaves. (color, size, texture, shape, symmetrical {yes or no})
      If the colors are the same are the shades the same? Is one green lighter or darker
     than another shade of green? Are the leaves small, large, fat, thin, rough, smooth, 
     waxy, prickly, etc.? Is the right side of the leaf the mirror image of the left side?  
    Math & Science

 5. Identify leaves.(Use a field guide, internet, etc.) Science

 6. Sketch and label leaves. (maple, oak, elm, etc.) Science & Art

7. Measure leaves (length and width). Compare sizes. Math

 8. Find the surface area of leaves.
     Trace leaves onto centimeter graph paper and count the squares included in the
     drawing. Students may find it helpful to put a dot in each square or to mark an x
     in each square. They should label the data (their answer) as centimeters squared

 9.Press leaves.
     Place leaves between pieces of wax paper. Glue the edges of the wax paper together. 
     Place in old magazines or catalogs to flatten. Art

10.Create leaf rubbings.
      Remove the paper covering from any crayons that will be used for this activity.
      Place a thin piece of white paper over a leaf (computer paper works great).
      Rub the crayon(s) in a back and forth motion on the white paper over the leaf.
      Try rubbing over other leaves in the same way. Kids can even overlap other
      leaves in their rubbings. Label the leaves. If desired, you can punch holes in
      the pages, add a cover, and tie together with yarn to make a leaf book/album
      to share with family and friends. Art

11.Create leaf prints.
    Have students use tempera paint and paint brushes to paint the back of leaves
    (the bumpy side).  Next the students should  place their painted leaves (paint side 
    down) on white paper and press down gently. Then they should carefully remove
    the leaves and compare their prints to real leaves. What details are seen in the 
    print? Can they see the veins of the plant? (Younger students can use finger paint.)

11. Create your own leaves with colored pencils, crayons, paint, charcoal, etc. Art

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