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First-graders go on a leaf hunt

In science class, the first-graders are studying different habitats and the mammals, trees, and birds that live there. Mrs. Nichols, our first grade teacher, taught students about two types of trees: deciduous and coniferous. She explained that deciduous tree leaves change color and fall off, producing what we see every autumn in North America. Every fall, the first-graders create their own animal illustrations out of the fallen leaves.
In order to create these illustrations, students were instructed to go on “leaf hunts” with their parents and collect leaves in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Each student cleaned their leaves with a small amount of soap and water and set out to dry. Once the leaves had dried and stiffened, they brought their leaves to class and arranged them—according to color and texture— into pictures of the animals they’ve been studying.

“I do this exercise with my class every year because it helps students to develop an awareness of their environment—and it’s also really fun. They get to take something from our habitat and make a picture of the animals that live in that habitat,” Mrs. Nichols said. “It’s so beautiful to see them think through their pictures while choosing leaves. It’s science with a little art.”
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