Students will be
able to identify and categorize leaves they collect from trees outdoors
by consulting the Herbarium module's Photo Gallery, the Museum's Forest
Module’s tree lists, field guides, and the links to tree identification
sites; and be able to discuss how the form of a leaf reflects its adaptation
to its environment.
upper elementary to early high school, adjusting sophistication of labeling
Time Required: field trip to collect leaves (playground, home, or field
trip); pressing in a press or large book with tissue paper for a week; one
class period for reading, sorting examples, online sources; taking turns on
the computer making labels; one class period to organize and mount samples
Forests of Illinois, Present Day, click on each type, then tree list
Behind the Scenes, Botany, Collections
ISM Herbarium Tree Specimens
Hillview School, Vernon, British Columbia's web site with tree identification
Virginia Tech's outreach web site on forestry; tree identification section:
Familyeducation.com page on Flower and leaf press made from an old phone book:
- leaves collected on field trip or from neighborhood in plastic bag
note paper and pencil
- old phone book, large dictionary or other leaf press
- paper towels or napkins in which to press leaves
- white card stock or construction paper
- white glue
- word processor printer or copier labels
- bring in a tree leaf collected
from home or the class will collect from trees on the school grounds and
talk about the trees (How do we know this is a tree? What are the parts
of a tree?)(Teacher
will identify leaves to prepare for discussion.)
in a teacher-led class discussion and identify of leaves based on their
shapes. (Use aWeb site tree list and tree identification sites' illustrations
listed in Web sites)
- Press the leaves in
a large book or press.
Glue the leaves on a piece of construction paper.
the name of the tree on each sheet.
to High School students will:
read pertinent information
about deciduous forest of Illinois on Museumlink Forests of Illinois
web site and other links, noting the format of the Herbarium specimen
collect leaves from trees on
field trip or from neighborhood with permission of the owner (5 each).
Note on paper the original location of each leaf, and how the leaves are
attached to the branch (alternate or opposite).
press leaves for one week
at school between the pages of a leaf press made for the project.
(Teacher will choose
a few leaves for whole class discussion to summarize leaf identification
web sites and use of vocabulary for students.)
use the tree and leaf
identification web sites and tree list section of Museumlink Forest
site to identify their leaves and write down their characteristics.
type up the descriptions
of the identification on a word processor and print them on label
mount each leaf onto
card stock with dots of white glue (or use 1/4” non-acid framer’s
attach the appropriate
label to each herbarium page
exhibit the leaf collection
for others to see
keep the collection as
a class herbarium.
Students should check their own and others’ work for accuracy of terminology
and for completeness. A complete herbarium sheet should have name of leaf,
name of person who collected it, location of collection, date of collection,
and description of leaf and/or plant.
Goals and Standards addressed:
Goal 12: Understand the fundamental concepts,
principles, and interconnections of the life, physical, and earth/space
• Standard 12.A: Know and apply concepts that explain how living
things function, adapt, and change.
• Early Elementary: 12.A.1b: Categorize living organisms using
a variety of observable features.
• Middle/Junior High: 12.A.3c: Compare and contrast how different
forms and structures reflect different functions.
of Tree: Sweet Gum
Name of Collector: Amy Smith
Location collected: 301. S. Main St., Alton,Illinois
Date: Sept. 30, 2000
Characteristics of leaf: alternate, simple, star-shaped, toothed (serrate)
Herbarium Specimen Number __________