Today, we followed up last week's leaf walk with a study of the leaves we collected. I had been quite disheartened by Jenson's inability to identify some quite basic tree species during the walk so felt some homework on the subject was needed.
I began by laying all the leaves out and writing labels with the name of the tree that each leaf fell from. I then asked the children to try and match the correct leaf to the right label using a leaf ID chart. It was a good exercise in reading for Jenson and gave Wren the opportunity to match shapes.
Together they did a good job at correctly identifying leaves and matching them to the right tree.
We then pressed all the leaves and will take them out during National Tree Week at the end of November.
With everyone on half term, last week the children and I went to stay at my Dad's for a few days on the South coast. We got involved in plenty of activities, including a brilliant leaf walk run by the RSPB at their local nature reserve: Pagham Harbour.
It began with a little talk about what we would be doing and then the children were let loose outside to gather and identify as many different leaves as they could. We found lots of different species including willow, oak, alder, birch and maple.
I explained to Jenson about the life cycle of a leaf. Most leaves are born in the Spring, live throughout the Sumer and die in the Autumn. As days get shorter the tree doesn't have enough sunlight to make food for itself so it shuts down during the Winter months. It stops producing chlorophyll and the leaves die.
Jenson and Wren collected a good number of leaves, although I was disappointed that Jenson in particular didn't know the correct name for a conker tree. Since returning from my Dad's we have done a lot more work on tree species and identification. Simon and I feel it is very important that Jenson and Wren learn about their environment and understand the importance of it, only then will they want to look after.
We also spotted this Shaggy Inkcap fungi.
After the walk the children went back inside and made leaf lanterns.