Be-Leaf Me! Fall is Great!

When Aunt Sue moved to Florida, she would send home some strange requests.  One year, she wanted us to send her a box of fall leaves.  Since Florida lacks deciduous trees, her students were unaware of the gorgeous colors produced by the trees up north.  The only problem with her request was that the leaves we sent would be dry and crumbling by the time she received them. What to do?

I solved the problem by ironing the leaves between two sheets of wax paper.  It was something I had learned in elementary school many, many years ago (back when the earth was cooling).  My granddaughters still collect leaves so we can do the activity together.  Here is how you do it.
1. Find different sizes and colors of leaves.
2. Tear off two sheets of waxed paper - about the same size.
3. Set the iron on "dry".  No water or steam here!
4. The heat level of the iron should be medium.
5. Place leaves on one piece of the waxed paper.
6. Lay the other piece on top.
7. Iron away!
Up above, on the right, you will see what ours looked like when we were finished.

 Only \$4.95
You can also use this activity to identify leaves.  According to my husband who knows trees, leaves and birds from his college studies, we "waxed" a maple leaf, sweet gum leaf, elm leaf, cottonwood leaf (the state tree of Kansas - they are everywhere), and two he doesn't recognize because they are some kind of ornamentals.

So my suggestion is to get out there and start gathering leaves because your students, children and grandchildren will love it....be-leaf me!

Do you want your students to have fun with leaves? Check out  a six lesson science performance demonstration for the primary grades which utilizes leaves. This inquiry guides the primary student through the scientific method – 1) exploration time, 2) writing a good investigative question, 3) making a prediction, 4) designing a plan, 5) gathering the data, and 6) writing a conclusion based on the data. A preview of the investigation is available. Just click on the title. After all you might have an unbe-leaf-able time!