Study the collection of leaves from outside. Count the number of leaves collected. Talk about them using key describing words, such as color, shape, size, lobes, and teeth. What are some different ways we might sort the leaves? Use a chart to write or draw these ideas. Describe your observations after each way of sorting. How many different leaves are in each group? How are the leaves in one group the same? How is this group of leaves different (or the same as) the other groups?
Pines and many other evergreen conifers have needle-like leaves. If pines or similar trees grow in your area, you may highlight the unique shape of their leaves by making paint brushes from their needles. Gather your needles from the ground beneath a tree and use a strong rubber band to create bundles of “bristles.” Attach a stick handle, if desired.
Seasonal Greeting Cards
Have the children collect leaves and press them between pages of thick phone books or between layers of newspaper with weight on top. After a couple of weeks, take them out. Give each child their personal collection of pressed leaves. Create “Happy Fall” greeting cards by gluing leaves to construction paper and decorating.
Provide paper, stamp pads, and/or paints and brushes, and a variety of leaves at an art station. Encourage children to make prints by pressing leaves onto stamp pads or painting them, then pressing onto paper. What shapes and patterns can they make?
Use different leaves to create animal shapes. Be creative!