Understanding Leaves

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  • To observe different kinds of leaves and how they differ from each other
  • To explore ways of classifying leaves
  • To understand the different characteristics of leaves

Activity 1:

Materials Required

  • Variety of leaves
  • Sheets of paper
  • Crayons/Colour pencils
  • Observation sheet


  1. Ask students to collect different types of leaves from surroundings or if there aren't many trees/plans in the school surroundings, collect a variety of leaves in advance and hand them over
  2. Ask students to observe the different leaves and think of ways in which they can be classified
  3. Probe students to think about what characteristics of the leaves they are looking at for classification and why. Ask them to share their observations
  4. Explain the meaning of leaf shape, margin, tip and venation which are commonly used to classify leaves
  5. Next, each student from one group takes 2-3 leaves, puts them under a sheet and creates an impression by colouring on the sheet with a crayon/colour pencil.
  6. Ask students to then record the leaf structure, shape, margins, tips and venation based on the reference sheet provided by the facilitator : Classification reference sheet
  7. Questions to probe students' thinking:
    1. Why is it necessary to classify leaves?
    2. What do you think determines the different characteristics (size, shape, margin, etc.) of leaves?
    3. Can the leaf properties say anything about the plant/tree?

Activity 2:


(a) Knowledge of finding the similarities and difference in the patterns of leaf.

The teacher should ask children’s to come up with their own criteria for leaf classification and then ask students to classify based on the criteria given.

Instructions to do the activity

   • Divide the class into 3-4 groups of students. Each group should gather a collection of leaves in a basket.

   • Bring them to a place where it could be spread and take a close look at them.

   • Study the leaves and think of your own ways to sort the leaves into groups. place them in  separate groups on the ground.

   • Write a note and place it below each group to say why you have put the leaves together?

   •  After children’s classification teacher should ask children’s to sort leaves based on specific criteria’s like shape, size, color, margin and venation.

   • Then discuss children’s reasons for each criteria of classification.

Pedagogical principle:



Criterion 5 4 3 2 1
Classification Classify the leaves based on more than 6 criteria like Leaf tip, margin,venation, Shape, color, texture etc.., Classify leaves based on 4-5 criteria like Leaf tip, margin,venation, Shape, color, texture etc.., Classify leaves based on 3-2 criteria like Leaf tip, margin,venation, Shape, color, texture etc.., Classify leaves based on any one of the criteria like Leaf tip, margin,venation, Shape, color, texture etc, Cannot classify
Reasoning and justification Able to reason and justify by comparing and contrasting plants species Able to reason with partial justification Able to reason but cannot justify Able to Partially reason Cannot Reason or justify