A fall leaf collection project to help students practice taxonomy, scientific naming, and presentation skills.
NEW OPTION: SELFIE LEAF COLLECTION! More info below.
Students will collect ten native leaves, use an online taxonomic key to identify the species, and display leaves in a book. Includes student instructions and a grading rubric.
Assign this project at least 3 weeks in advance of the due date. Here in Tennessee, it inevitably rains every weekend during prime leaf-collecting season, so keep students updated on the forecast and their responsibilities! Wet leaves do not display well.
Students can display leaves in a lot of ways, including glue, tape, laminating, using page protectors, etc... My favorite way to recommend is taping over the leaf with a layer of transparent packing tape. It shows the leaf well and preserves it. Keep some examples of student work to show next year's class.
Note: The taxonomic key recommended is for Ohio species, and works well for species native to the midwest and southeast United States. You may need a different key if you live elsewhere.
NEW OPTION: SELFIE LEAF COLLECTION! File now includes a page of instructions to turn leaf collecting into a digital project. I would offer this as an option if kids have access to technology. (Note: the Selfie project is a page by itself. You can easily leave it out if you want.) Please let me know how your kids like it!
Developed by Cary Busby Science.