Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn Series #5: Leaves

Outdoor Hour button
We began our leaf study by reading the books I Am a Leaf by Jean Marzollo and How Do You Know It's Fall by Allan Fowler.  We then watched the You Tube video on how a leaf changes color.  This was a bit of a stretch for our boys, but they enjoyed watching anyway.  We talked about how different trees have different shapes of leaves and how some trees are evergreens.

We took to the car for a drive around town and up Prospect Mountain.  Each of the boys received a pillowcase to begin their leaf collection.  I carried along the camera to document the shape of the trees and the bark of each tree we would visit.  As we drove we made several stops at colorful trees that we observed in town.  We stopped and collected leaves from each of those trees.  Each one happened to be a maple.

We headed up to Lake George to drive up Prospect Mountain.  At the top there is a small hike that is just enough for three year olds.  This allowed us the time to observe the fall foliage from afar as well as up close.  When we got to the parking area we took in the view which was quite orange and yellow.  Here are the boys with their pillow cases ready for the hike.  It was a bit nippy.

It took a little bit to climb to the top.  We took our time and collected leaves as we went.  We stopped and took some small red leaves from some wild blueberries.

We found a maple that was just starting to turn, predominately green with the red just beginning to take over.

We finished climbing to the top to take a look at the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks aflame.
We then collected red and yellow leaves from an oak and a white birch tree.  
Later in the week we also collected leaves at another state park.  We found plenty of varieties of maples and oaks, but also poplar, black birch, and ginko.  There were also many I could not identify.  
poplar leaf
As soon as we got the leaves home, we immediately color photo copied them while they were flexible and full of color.  This gave us plenty of time to complete any work we would do with them.  My main objective was to have the boys make a mini field guide with the leaves that they found.  We decided to focus on the maple, oak, and white birch.  I created a page for each of the trees with the photos that we took of the bark and the full tree.  Then we cut out each leaf from the color photocopy and pasted them on each page.  The final result we laminated and bound to make our guide.  

In years past of teaching with leaves, it never occurred to me to color copy them.  I am very excited that this will not dry, bubble up, and fade over time like leaves tend to do.  The boys were very excited about the results.  It is displayed on our science table where I know it will see much use.  My hope is that they will be able to identify these trees by the spring.  We will see when the fresh green leaves come out if they were able to learn the shapes.  


Phyllis said...

Oh my, how I LOVE your book. That is exactly what I want to do with my youngest two. Thank you for showing this to me. Now I will know more of how to go about it. Thank you so much.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

You are a genius and I know many more moms will be applying your idea to their nature journals. I will probably share your link in my leaf post this week just to make sure they see it. :)

Thanks so much for your lovely photos too...beautiful country.

Lecia said...

I love this idea. I can't wait to do this with my little one!

Lilith Wyatt said...

Hi Amy,

Great blog. I work for a non-profit organization in the Adirondacks and I especially love the 8th photo of the Green Mountains. Would you be okay if we used that photo under the creative commons and credited you?