Leaf Projects for The Elementary Classroom

Leaf Projects for the elementary classroom can be as simple or elaborate as you and your students want them to be. Some simple ideas might be a leaf notebook filled with drawings and notes from a history lesson, a poster of all the states in the country, or a chart of the months of the year. More elaborate projects might include a nature journal, a banner made from recycled materials, or a quilt made from recycled fabric.

Whatever the project, make sure that there is enough variety to keep your students interested and busy. If you plan to use recycled materials, be sure to provide a variety of colors and textures so that they can experiment and create their own unique pieces.

If you are new to teaching with leaf projects, start small and gradually add more complexity as your students are ready for it. Allow them to take the lead in choosing the project and in deciding how to complete it. In the end, your students will be excited to show off their creations and will have a lasting memory of their elementary school years. Below you will find some of our favorite leaf activities.

1. Have a Leaf Scavenger Hunt

Let students play detective and see how many diverse types of leaves they can identify. This clearly illustrated visual guide includes the most common leaf types including maple, oak, and walnut leaves.

More Information: Education.com

2. Leaf Rubbings: Shapes and Patterns

This cross-curricular lesson incorporates artistic fun with science-based questions. After creating their colorful crayon leaf rubbings using dead leaves, students can compare their shapes, structures, and patterns and practice sorting them accordingly. An alternative version of this lesson can be done with washable markers or a chalk process.

More Information: Education.com

3. Conduct a Leaf Chromatography Experiment

This simple science experiment from NASA will allow students to see the hidden yellow and orange pigments in green leaves right before their very eyes. Using readily available household ingredients makes for a great opportunity to learn about the chlorophyll in leaves, photosynthesis, chromatography, and capillary action.

More Information: NASA

4. Read and Write Leaf Poems 

The changing colors of fall have inspired many beautiful poems. This poetry collection is a great launching point for a discussion about poetic tone, emotion, themes, and diverse types of figurative language. As an extension activity, students can write their own poems, using their five senses to describe the natural world.

More Information: Read Works

5. Create Watercolor Leaf Prints 

After gathering their own leaves, students can play with the magic of watercolor paint to create some beautiful pastel leaf prints. In just a few simple steps, they’ll have delicate and detailed leaf prints to show off in the classroom.

More Information: Pink When

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