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Teaching Numbers And Colors With Plant Leaves

Teaching numbers, colors, and plant identification to children can be a fun project for everyone. Herbee and I believe in hands on learning. Children love to touch and see different objects when they are at school or home. This can be done as a science project, introducing children to nature, or just a great family time.

Plant leaves come in such a variety of colors, shapes, and textures. Using these three aspects of leaves will give a child a great visual, as well as a touch and feel approach. You can do this type of project for many different ages, young children just beginning to learn colors and numbers, or biology classes teaching plant specimen identification.

Throughout this article are ten different photos of leaves. Take any variety of leaves you have in your local area. You are the expert as a teacher, parent, or any other community leader. Think about your main objective in the lesson plan. It could be teaching numbers, colors, or growing plants. Take a look at the first two photos of leaves.


Oak Leaf

Oak Leaf

Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf

These two trees are very popular in many areas of the world. The Oak and Maple leaf have similarities, but also have their own unique traits. Look at the edges and the leaf structure. Think about the many varieties of Maples and Oaks, and the changes in autumn color of a Red or Sugar Maple.

How can you incorporate these two trees in your lesson plan? Go on a field trip to a nursery or grower. Make a collage or journal. Create a story. Teaching numbers by counting as you plant seeds and plugs? Plant a tree. Learn different stages about each plant's growth pattern. These are just a few ideas depending on your particular age group.

The world of plant leaves can open up a brand new area of teaching children about the beauty of the outside world. It doesn't matter what age you work with. You can use the leaves for plant identification, or learning basic skills in colors and numbers.


Herbee's Hot Buzzing Recommended Books Chosen Just For You


Herbee is delighted to share with you four of his favorite children's nature books. John Muir is best known for his work in creating US National Parks. Learn more below about Yosemite National Park. Each of these books will give you some great ideas on bringing the value of the natural outdoors to children, and even you. CLICK ON THE PHOTOS and get all the details. Each of these books make a wonderful gift for a holiday, or any time of the year.


Below are some photos of different leaves. Notice each leaf, their colors and shapes. This creates a great atmosphere for learning. Of course if you can go outside with your children or students, hands on gives each them up close and personal experience.

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Emerald Green Leaves

False Cypress

False Cypress Leaves

These two pictures are a group of Emerald Green Arborvitae and False Cypress leaves. These two plant leaves are a great teaching tool for texture and an assortment of colors and shapes. The anatomy of each these plant families are a great lesson in itself. You can have children count the needle like leaves on one little section of each plant and experience the soft texture.

Notice how the Emerald Green leaves are bunched together more. The False Cypress needle-like leaves are spread out. This is a good example of similar style of leaves, with an entirely different shape and pattern. Try and let children see the variety of shapes to these leaves. Using touch and feel, as well as identifying shapes and colors, creates a powerful learning tool.


Golden Euonymus

Golden Euonymus

Burning Bush

Burning Bush

Here are two totally different colors and styles. The Golden Euonymus is an evergreen and has two toned leaves. The Burning Bush is deciduous and is green in spring and summer. In fall the leaves turn a bright sea of red. As you can see the Burning Bush in this picture is beginning to change color.

Notice the small berries that begin to show in the fall season. If you're teaching numbers, the children can either count berries, or the number of leaves on a stem.

Have a child follow one specific plant throughout the entire growing season. This is a great motivational project for children to experience the beginning to end process. Take a deciduous leaf, (leaves that fall off in winter, but come back), and an evergreen (leaves that keep their color year around). Have the children observe the changes of the leaves that go along with the different seasons.


Blue Owl Juniper

Blue Owl Juniper

Variegated Juniper

Variegated Juniper

This is one plant family with two totally unique colors and appearance. This is a great teaching tool for any age group. There's the Blue or Gray Owl Juniper with the blue tones and long needle like leaves. Then you have the Variegated Juniper with its shorter leaves and deep yellow and green color.

Have the children create comparison charts. This will show the students or your children the different trees and shrubs in this family. A great place to go is a Botanical Garden, nature trail, or even around your school or home property. Staying on the property, you might be amazed at how many different leaves are around.


Purple Heart Plant

Purple Heart

Variegated Boxwood

Variegated Boxwood

The final two plants represent a flower specimen and an evergreen shrub. The purple color leaf in the flower is unique, and so is the small two tone color of the Boxwood. This is a great comparison of a flowering specimen, and a foliage shrub.

Here's a little insight into the Purple Heart. Pink delicate flowers open up in the morning, and close as dusk approaches. This specimen spreads, and is good for an open area of a bed, or in a container.

When you talk about these two plants, explain how the foliage shrub, Boxwood, has two tone leaves. If children are smaller, here's an opportunity to create an exercise to teach colors. Two plants, with totally different shapes, colors, textures and appearances.


Spend a few minutes and have your child or children share their experiences with other children from around the world. What a great way to learn about other cultures and their school, or family projects and adventures!

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Yosemite National Park --- Consider Teaching Numbers By Counting Herb Seeds And Growing

How To Plan A Garden --- More From The Garden Learning Center



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