Friday 7 October 2011

Why do leaves change colour?

When you get asked a question like this you know it's going to be the basis of your lessons.

We started with a little hands on activity - I asked 'what colours are the leaves in autumn?' and I laid them out on the mat as they called each colour out (if you look closely you'll notice that the green, yellow and orange leaves are all the same shape - you'll need this for the next step)
next I laid the same shaped leaves on top of each other (green, orange then yellow) and asked if they knew why leaves were green - once they came up with chlorophyll as the answer we discussed how the days are shorter in autumn so the leaves make less chlorophyll and eventually stop (lift the green leaf off)
when the chlorophyll runs out you see the orange and yellow of the leaf - those colours are always present but are hidden beneath the green.

Next we discussed the red leaf - the red colouring happens if glucose is trapped in the leaf when photosynthesis stops.
Brown is from waste left in the leaf.
Lilly and Sunflower wrote this up for a poster (using some leaf prints from the other day)
while they did Rose and Tulip tried a leaf matching activity

and looked at the parts of an apple (from Montessori Print Shop)

When they had finished we all worked on some leaf types 3 part cards
looked at a leaf skeleton whilst learning the parts of a leaf.
To finish we used the parts of a leaf 3 part cards (Absorbent Minds
and labelled the parts on a leaf rubbing

I'm linking this to


Jennifer said...

I like the layered colors for teaching the process that leaves change color. Then all of the other activities to complete the study look fun as your kids learned.

Me said...

SUCH a cute idea! Go mom!! Beautiful family and I am borrowing this with my boys. Thanks! Found your blog by way of the Montessori Print Shop e-newsletter.

Heidi said...

I like the layered coloring too- my science teacher hubby will like that one :)

Brenna said...

Oh, such neat activities! Thanks for sharing ~ We'll be trying some of these!

momandkiddo said...

Autumn is certainly our favorite time of year! Thanks for linking up.

Beth ( said...

What a fun, informative study! Thanks for sharing.
I would love for you to link up at

Anonymous said...

This is great, I'll be trying this with my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

Deb Chitwood said...

What wonderful leaf activities! I love your hands-on way of explaining why leaves change color! I'm so glad you linked up with Montessori Monday. I added your link and photo of your leaf color-changing activity to my Montessori-Inspired Autumn Leaf Unit at

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking up to Living Life Intentionally Linky Party! I think this is so clever!

Unknown said...

Wow. Great article. Thanks for sharing your experimentation about the changes color of the leaves every season. Keep posting.


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