What Can you do with a Pile of Leaves?
Hello there! Ahhhh the school year is in full swing and now you can enjoy your surroundings...NOT... if you are a teacher, you really won't be able to fully enjoy anything until June, but that being said, I am retired so for me: It's that time of year when you feel a cool breeze sweep against your face as you walk in the early morning hours amidst the beautiful orange, yellow and brown hues that are all around you. You can hear the leaves rustle against the sidewalk as you meander along. You feel energized by this beautiful morning...YES...It's FALL, one of my most favorite seasons!
The beautiful leaves are all around and the colors are magnificent here on the east coast. If you live somewhere that does experience the changing of seasons, then YOU are missing a beautiful scene.(Just sayin') We are so lucky here to be able to see the seasons change although I have to admit if we could just have fall and spring I would be fine. I cannot tolerate extreme cold or heat!
Well... there is one major downfall of fall... there are A LOT of leaves, leaves everywhere...on the lawn, in the streets, on the sidewalks, in my hair, in the house, on the porch and some are still in the trees! So if you are like me...you walk by these beautiful, crunchy, vibrant leaves and say..."Oh, the possibilities...Oh My, there are so many educational activities that can be done with a pile of leaves!!! isn't that what all teachers do or is it just me...NO...I KNOW for a fact that...YES...that IS what you do!
So here goes...What Can You Do With a Pile of Leaves?
1. Count the leaves.
2. After discussing attributes or a math lesson that teaches attributes with blocks etc. Give partners or small groups a small pile of different kinds of leaves and encourage critical thinking by asking them to graph the leaves by whatever attribute they would like. Then glue the leaves down in a graphing pattern. Some ways they might graph are color, shape, size and whatever they can think of!
3. Trace a larger leaf on some inch or cm graph paper and determine the estimated area of the leaf. Then discuss the ways in which the students decided to count the graph paper squares to determine the area.
4. Read the story Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. Give each child a batch of leaves or have each child pick a bunch of leaves and then create a leaf __________. In the past some of my first graders made Leaf Men, Leaf Fish, Leaf Insects, Leaf Cars...Leaf whatever they can imagine, Glue the creations onto construction paper and use the frames in this packet to write about the creation. The sheets are differentiated so you can decide which sheet works best for each child.
5. Give each child one leaf, but as many different leaves as you can find on your school property and have them try to find the tree that matches their leaf.
6. Read the book Red Leaf Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert and then go on a leaf hunt to find all the leaves that are mentioned in the booklet that is included in this packet that I created to go along with the text. My kiddos LOVE doing this!
7. Pick two leaves and use the Venn diagram to compare and contrast the attributes of each.
8. Adopt and tree and watch it change. Go out each season and draw the tree as the ear progresses. Each time you draw I partner share and compare and contrast the changes. Use the paper provided to observe the changes and write about them.
9. Plant and acorn and see what happens.
10. Trim the stem of a yellow leaf and put it in green food coloring and predict what will happen.
11. Let a pile of leaves sit in your room and predict what will happen.
12. Add you own ideas!!!
13. Oh and let's not forget: Jumping in the leaves and of course playing Hide and Seek!
What Can You do with a Pile of Leaves was created years ago when I attended a summer/science workshop at an Environmental Center. I have always loved nature, the beauty of it and the vibrant colors that surface each fall are amazing. With that being said, here are a few of my favorite leaf activities...updated of course and ready to print and use. They are aligned with Common Core that goes without saying as really almost anything you do can be found in the Common Core standards. As you become an old girl like me, you will realize that really everything is aligned it is the assessments, testing, more testing and MORE testing that has really changed!
This is a Great mini-unit to get your kiddos outside and moving, which we all know is so important in today’s world.
Check out the entire activity: What Can You Do with a Pile of Leaves? TpT
Bring Science to life...your kiddos will love it!!