Saturday, November 5, 2011

Leaf Identification

What better way to celebrate the fall season than to collect leaves from our very own backyard? This is actually something that we have done every year since moving to NC. From CA originally, we really are not used to seeing the beautiful colors of fall or even having enough leaves in our backyard to make piles of and jump into. My kids really don't realize how lucky they are to grow up in a place that is so beautiful in the fall.

Walking in the woods. Evidently caught Ben by surprise.

To celebrate the season, I have chosen to work on seasons and leaves for science in our homeschool. We started with making observations about the leaf changes of fall. We are lucky enough to live on a wooded lot.  So, we went for a walk in our very own backyard and talked about the changes in the leaves. I brought along my small point and shoot camera and had Ben take pictures of leaves (with a little help from me of course).

Then, he dictated to me his observation journal entry. I had him draw pictures of what he saw. After that, he wanted to label the pictures!! He actually wrote two words. He wrote "hole" for the picture of the animal hole that we found in the woods and the word, "leaf" for the leaves he drew. I was sooo proud of him! It is seriously the first words that he has ever written independently. And, his drawings are pretty good too if I do say so myself (yes, I'm very proud of him).

If you look closely, you can see "HOLE."
If you look closely, you can see "LEAF."

After collecting a variety of leaves of different colors and shapes, Benjamin laid them out on paper towels so that I could dry and press them. I found a couple of kid identification pages to help identify the leaves, but really, they were pathetic and didn't even have 1/2 of the different leaves we found. I went online and found a really cool website that helps to identify leaves! We worked together and identified the leaves that we collected using this website. We will be doing a craft with the leaves early next week.

In this science unit, we also read two earlier readers about leaves. This explained what leaves are used for and also a simplified version of photosynthesis. It also explains why the leaves turn colors based on the seasons. I followed up with our science curriculum on seasons and leaves and had him complete worksheets to check for understanding.

As a fun science activity on Friday, I had all three kids watch "Sid the Science Kid: Don't Forget the Leaves," streaming on Netflix. It was a great way to follow up on all that we learned. Plus, my kids love "Sid the Science Kid" and tend to learn a lot from the episodes. 

I am going to be finishing up the leaves unit in the next week or so. I will post those activities as we complete them.

Used for this lesson:

  1. I Am a Leaf by Jean Marzollo (lexile level 70L)
  2. Colorful Leaves by Maria Fleming (no lexile level available, but is more difficult than #1)
  4. Leaves from our backyard

No comments:

Post a Comment