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Leaf Day

Math Lesson
for Leaf Day

The students will sort, graph, and pattern leaves.


  • Leaves, which the students have brought in from home.

  • Butcher Paper

  • Long strips of paper (about 12" long - sentence strips work well.)



  1. Gather the students together, with their leaves, in an open area where piles can be made.  Ask the students how they could sort their leaves as a whole class.  Wait for responses, such as color, size, shape, etc.

  2. Working together as a class, have the students physically sort their leaves by the different attributes which have been decided upon.

  3. Transfer one of these sorting activities to a graph made on butcher paper.  Draw a graph with the correct number of columns which match the attributes.  For example, if the class has sorted their leaves by color and there are red, green, and yellow leaves, make a three column graph.  Give each student pieces of paper or post-it notes to write their name on and place in the proper column of the graph.  Follow up with questions for interpreting the graph.  For example, "How many more yellow leaves than red leaves are there?", etc.

  4. Then have the students create patterns with their leaves.  Work together as a whole class to create patterns based on color, size, shape, etc.  Allow the students to get creative.  For example, they may create a pattern of which way the stems point or whether the leaf is placed on its front or back.  Older students may get into more complex patterns.  As an extension, have the students break into groups and create a pattern, which the rest of the class needs to decipher.


Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Have the students measure their leaves.  They may then draw comparisons between their leaf and other objects in the room.  For example, "My leaf is 2 inches longer than my pencil."

  2. Make a graph of the students' favorite leaf color.

  3. Make a graph of the students' favorite activity with Fall leaves (raking, jumping, collecting, etc.)

  4. Have the students blow leaves by using a straw.  They should then measure the distance of how far they have blown their leaves.



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