Book choices for today:
- Why Leaves Change Color Betsy Maestro
- Autumn Leaves Ken Robbins
- Leaves David Stein
- Why Leaves Change Their Color Ellen Rene
- I Am a Leaf Jean Marzollo
- Fall Leaves Don Curry
Botany: (first circle)
Need for lesson – Small plant with leaves and Inside a Leaf work (I made mine, this idea is from a teacher I worked with in California many years ago).
Remember when we talked about seeds and we learned that inside the seed is everything it needs to start growing, even its food? Well, as the plant grows, it uses up all of its seed food and starts making its own food.
Look at the leaves on this plant. It doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all. But if we could see inside a leaf we would be amazed. Inside the leaf is where the plant makes its food. Cells are the smallest part of all living things. We would need a microscope to see the cells in these leaves. Botanists have done this and they found something wonderful and green inside the cells. It is called chlorophyll. There are hundreds of cells in the leaf filled with chlorophyll. The green chlorophyll does the work of making food for the plant to grow and stay healthy.
Chlorophyll doesn’t make the food alone, it needs other things to help it. The first thing it needs is sunlight. The sunlight gives the chlorophyll energy to make food. Chlorophyll also needs fresh air to make food. It needs a part of the air called carbon dioxide. We help plants to get carbon dioxide from the air. When we breathe, we learned that we take in oxygen, but when we breathe out, we let out carbon dioxide from our lungs. So we help the plants to make food every time we breathe out and put carbon dioxide into the air. What do you think puts oxygen into the air that we need? Plants! When they make food, plants give us oxygen.
A plants chlorophyll needs sunlight, air, and it also needs water and minerals to make food. Where does the plant find water and minerals? In the soil. So these things; sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air, and water and minerals help the chlorophyll in a leaf to make food for the plant. When a plants makes its own food, it is called photosynthesis.
Use the ‘Inside a Leaf’ as you talk about what the chlorophyll needs.
Inside a Leaf
Inside a Leaf
Botany: (second circle)
Need for lesson – Parts of a Leaf, Kinds of Leaves , Botany Cabinet, and a few samples of real leaves.
Do all leaves look like this one? No. Leaves come in many shapes and many different sizes. This is the Botany Cabinet. In it, we find the many shapes leaves come in. Demonstrate the Botany Cabinet. If you find a leaf you can bring it in to school and see if you can find the inset leaf shape that matches it.
All leaves certain parts to them. That is what makes them a leaf. These bumpy parts show the veins of a leaf. The outside edge of the leaf is called the margin. This part is the blade. This little part of the leaf that connects the stem to the blade is called the petiole. The opening at the bottom of the petiole where the leaf grew from is called the stipule. You can make a book showing the different parts of a leaf.
Why do some leaves change colors in the fall? Well, as Summer ends and Fall begins the days get shorter and shorter. During winter there isn’t enough light for photosynthesis. Do you remember what photosynthesis is? Trees take a rest in the winter and so the green chlorophyll starts to disappear from the leaves. As the green color fades away we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along but were covered by all the chlorophyll. Trees that rest and change color have a special name. They are called Deciduous.
Kinds of Leaves (source unknown)
Botany Cabinet Cards
Child making a Leaf Booklet
Parts of a Leaf Booklet
Clear Frames (great for leaves and flowers)
Other Leaf Ideas – Read the story, Look What I Did With a Leaf or Leaf Man. Gather a variety of leaves and children can make animals or other things using the leaves. The story has nice pictures and cute ideas of things to make with leaves.
Leaf Art Samples
Leaf Rubbings – These are from a craft store. I like to use crayon rocks to rub over the leaf imprint. I think they work well for rubbing works.
Fall Leaf Crowns – Have pre-cut leaf shapes that children can color with bright fall colors. Glue them onto headbands to fit child’s head.
Fall Leaf Coloring – I will highlight the color word for younger children, which allows them to work independently.
Leaf Crowns Art Activity
Leaf Coloring Page
Leaf Blankets (by Irene Crofoot)
Leaves are falling, soft as snowflakes,
Red and yellow, gold and brown;
The breeze laughs happily in the treetops.
Shaking all the color down
Leaves are covering the gardens
As my blanket covers me.
When cold winter comes, the flowers
Will be warm as warm can be.
Trees from the book Science is Simple
(tune: “The Green Grass Grew All Around”)
Oh in the park,
There was a tree,
The biggest oak tree,
That you ever did see…(chorus)
And on that oak,
There was a limb (branch, twig, leaf),
The very best limb,
That you ever did see…(chorus)
And the autumn leaves fell all around, all around,
And the autumn leaves fell all around.
Song (CD) choices for today:
- Fall Leaves Seasonal Songs Macmillan