Inspired by nature's gifts of blooming flowers and thickening emerald foliage of trees, we started our Botany unit study, and today, Adrian wished to go outside and collect different leaves and explore them up close. So, "following the child" I had put together a lesson about leaves.
Leaves help plants make their own food. Within the leaf, there is a green material called chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight to make a natural sugar that the plant uses for food. This process is called photosynthesis, during which carbon dioxide, which can be toxic in high concentration and poisonous to humans, is used by the plant while oxygen, which is one of the most important elements required to sustain life, is released. Thus, plants and people live in a symbiotic relationship, where trees are indispensable to Earth's air being fresh and clean, and people can commit to preserving forests and planting new ones.
Eyewitness Plant book (buy here) explains in details "leaving leaves" and its variety, while featuring stunning real-life photographs, offering young readers a unique eyewitness view of the fascinating world of plants, including plant's anatomy and growth.
The leaf has veins for carrying converted sugar to other parts of the plant. The flat, green part of the leaf is called the blade. The edge of the leaf is called the margin. Leaves are called "sun-catchers" because they "catch" the sun that the plant needs to make food. Evergreen plants do not lose their leaves in the winter, so their leaves need to be tough to survive several years in the wind, sun, and rain. Some evergreen leaves have waxy upper surface and downy underside.
Adrian is using the Due Scope Microscope (buy here) which features three objective lenses: 40x, 100x, and 400x magnifications, and two light sources. To observe a solid item like a leaf, Adrian uses the light source above the stage. Find more details about this Microscope in a "Microscope Study" post here.
The Trees book (buy here) with its beautiful overlay pages offers further insights into trees, leaves and nature's cycle ~ In the fall, leaves lose their chlorophyll, which allows for other colors in the leaf to show, so that we see yellow, orange, red and even purple leaves.
Adrian likes shading over leaves with a chunky beeswax block crayon (buy here) and seeing the veins and the margin of the leaf emerges. (For more on the shading over, read here a post "Sandpaper Numbers Extensions: using marbles and shading over".)
This is a super fun nature-inspired idea we generally do with dried leaves! Can you tell that blue is Adrian's favorite color! While regular crayons might crumble the fragile leaf, oil crayons really work wonders with these 🍂nature finds.
To find out which "Botany 🌸 Books 📚 we are 📖 Reading" see a post here.
We learned more about leaves and nature's cycle in a post "Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons" ~ read here.