"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Leaf Safari

Mrs. Leach's class at Florosa came in today, and we did the AIMS lesson "Leaf Safari." I have enjoyed working with Mrs. Leach this year. She has let me model each month the lesson and taken notes, so that she would feel comfortable doing them next year on her own. She is a wonderful teacher and her class is a pleasure to work with because they are so well behaved.

Of course, I always forget to take pictures while I am teaching, so I put together some at the beginning and end so that you could see what they did.

To begin, we had a variety of leaves found only on the school grounds to observe and work with. I say only on the school grounds, because if you have more time than we did, you can have the students collect them on a nature walk. Also, by using only what I had here, I was able to keep it a low stress preparation lesson.

The students came in and sat on the floor first. We read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. (I love including good books with our science labs.) 

Leaf Man is an adorable book that has the Leaf Man traveling everywhere. Things I like about the book are...beautiful pictures, repeated lines, imagination, and children must observe closely to find the imaginative pictures made with the leaves.

See the turtle and fish on the lake.

See the cute cow.

After reading we discussed words that describe leaves and just ways to observe that would lead to the intermediate grades classifying leaves.

Part of our list of describing words.

Then, the students went to the table to observe and discuss what they saw. They chose one leaf to draw and write three descriptive words to go with it. They would later measure the length and width in centimeters of course!

Then I led them through classifying the leaves. We did needle and broad first, then rough and smooth, then the students had to come up with their own way to classify them. Mrs. Leach and I walked around and tried to guess.

The circles are from AIMS and come in a set of three. For first grade, we only used two, but if we had more time, we could have easily increased the difficulty.

We then had them measure the length and width of one leaf.

The final activity was to make a leaf rubbing. You can then really see the veins and patterns that show up in the leaf. I can't believe how many kids don't know what rubbing is. We used to do that all the time when I was little. Good reason for why we need the A in STEM, so now it is STEAM adding art in.

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