COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE, Understanding (ELG02), MATHEMATICS, Shape, space and measures (ELG12), PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT, Moving and handling (ELG04), PSED, Making relationships (ELG08), UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD, The world (ELG14)
This activity introduces children to the different types of trees that can be found in woodland or parkland. It demonstrates that not all trees are the same; they all look different and have different leaves, bark and seeds. The children will be able to take a leaf of their choice back to the usual setting and use it to create a leaf mobile, or a stained glass window.
In the woodland setting, sit the children in the sharing circle. From where they are sitting, ask them to look around and tell you what they can see. Hopefully someone will say that they can see trees! Ask the children if all trees are the same.
Explain that trees are very large plants, and that all plants are similar but not the same. Different types of trees have different leaves, bark, flowers, seeds and fruit, and are called different names.
Ask the children to walk around the wood and pick up some fallen leaves. Tell them to bring the leaves back to the sharing circle and place them in the middle. After five minutes, signal to all the children that they must return to the sharing circle.
When all the children have returned, show them some examples of different leaves. It is not necessary to name the trees that the leaves have come from; at this stage, the children simply need to be made aware that there are different types of trees. Encourage the children to discuss the different shapes and to name the colours.
Signal for all children to return to the sharing circle. Show them the leaf that you have chosen. Hold the leaf up and repeat the following words, inserting an appropriate adjective to describe your leaf:
Next, tell them to place a second piece of tissue paper over the top and gently press down around the leaf. Ask the children how the leaf looks and feels now; they may respond with words such as ‘soggy’, ‘wrinkly’ or ‘colourful’.
Once dry, each leaf can be cut out and threaded with string or ribbon, and then hung from a class washing para, a coat hanger or similar. As the light catches the leaves, the PVA glue will make the leaves shine and they will flutter gently in a breeze.
Good control and co-ordination
Work cooperatively and take turns with others
Everyday objects and shapes
Animals and plants