Monday, October 3, 2011

Preschool Science Activity - Fall Leaves

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This morning the kids and I went on a nature walk, this time looking for leaves that had fallen off of trees.  The kids always love nature walks, so this was a big hit!  We just went up and down the street and stopped whenever we saw a tree that had lost some of it's leaves.  We noticed that we mostly were collecting three different kinds of leaves (with a couple of odd-ball extras).  I tried to explain that if two trees have the same shape leaves, then they are the same kind of tree.

When we got home, we put all the leaves on the kitchen floor and I had Trevor sort them by shape.  This was a challenge, because his first instinct each time was to match up colors, but by the end I could see him correcting himself when he started to put a leaf in the wrong pile.  We ended up with three main piles of leaves.

Next, I showed him a page that I had made up earlier with a silhouette of a leaf on it and had him match it up which pile would go with that picture (and then again for the other two leaf types).  Here is what we came up with...

I don't think that our birch leaves are right, but I'm pretty sure we got the elm and maple right!

Next we sounded out each word and he was excited to be able to read them with just a little coaching!  It really amazes he how reading is just clicking since he has learned most of the phonograms.  (I highly recommend curriculum like  Writing Road to Reading , Spell to Write and Read, All About Reading/Spelling, and just teaching phonograms in general!)

After that we did copywork and practiced writing in lowercase letters.  In our writing this year so far we have only focused on uppercase letters, so there are many lowercase letters he has never even tried to write.  I want to see if he can learn those by just doing copywork instead of taking one letter at a time.

Last we made rubbings of the leaves by placing a couple of the leaves under a white piece of paper and coloring over them with the long side of an unwrapped crayon.  I was happy with how easy this was for Trevor to do on his own.   I expected that I would have to help to actually get the images to show up, but other than holding the paper in place, he was able to do it on his own!

I loved this lesson because it was many subjects all in one!  It included science, math (sorting), reading, writing, and art.

If you would like to do something like this with you child, you can download the pages I created for your own use.  Of course, it will only work if you have the same kind of trees in your area that I do =)

For some reason, the writing lines do not show up when you click the link to view the pages, but when you download them it should appear correctly.  Please let me know if it's not showing up right for you!

Looking for more preschool information?  Visit my All Things Preschool page to find a list of all the preschool posts here at Living and Learning at Home, plus some of my favorite preschool resources!


  1. Great activity. Visiting from the HHH.

  2. What a wonderful activity, and I love how you incorporated some literacy skill learning into it. I'm going to look up the Writing Road to Reading and see if it looks like the right thing for us. I'm having trouble getting my son interested in this sort of thing (he is all about science). Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. What a great idea for sorting leaves. I love the sheets you made. Thanks for sharing! I am a new follower from Preschool Corner. Vicky from

  4. Nicole, if you have any questions about the Writing Road to Reading, please let me know! It's kind of a lot to process when you first look at the book, but it's really a simple concept once you get the hang of it.

    Vicky, thanks so much for stopping by and following! I clicked over to your blog too and I'm sure I'll be going back =)

  5. Beautiful leaves! We don't have too many great leaves like that around here. :)

    Wonderful project!

  6. Oh Candace, you're really missing out! But I'm sure you've got nice things in your area that we are missing out on around here =)


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