Hubs and I were out exploring the woods this last weekend, when I noticed a maple tree. The leaves on this tree were quite possibly the largest maple leaves I have ever seen. They were easily larger than my head and quite beautiful. I knew I had to catch a few photographs of the leaves.
With the first photo, I held an un-fallen leaf up to try and capture the sheer size of it. With the second one, I let it go, and snapped a picture of the leaves as they hung. Of course, I had to adopt a funny angle to get the picture, but it was well worth it to me.
This photo of the un-fallen leaf is one of my favorite photos of the Autumn season this year.
I am not certain which type of Maple tree this one was, although I am inclined to guess it is a Red Maple given the “teeth” along the margins of the leaves. The Red Maple also typically has leaves that are two to six inches wide. I am convinced that this one was at least seven or eight inches at the widest point, but I could be wrong. I was tempted to pull the leaf, and bring it back to Mister and Sister, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It still had quite a bit of life left in it, judging from the stem.
While I didn’t pluck this particular leaf for my kids, we have enjoyed leaf rubbing from the fallen leaves in our back yard. I try to think of creative ways to make learning fun for them, and they really like doing the leaf rubbings. I also have two books on the life cycle of plants that I read to them. The two that I have now are From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons and How a Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan. From Seed to Plant is a more technical read and contains a bean seed project that the kids can duplicate (if their mother didn’t have a black thumb). How a Seed Grows also has a seed science project in it. It is more colorful and has great illustrations.
I do have a couple of books on my list that I would like to get, to ramp up the fun aspect of learning about plants. One book on my list is The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. I just love all things Eric Carle. His books are magical and make learning virtually osmotic. The second book is Champ and Me by the Maple Tree by Ed Shankman. The story of Champ and Me by the Maple Tree caught my eye when I was web browsing one day. I think my kids would like the monster in the story.
What books and/or projects would you recommend for teaching about life science to young children?