In this activity, students gather, press and label plant leaves to create a life-size leaf collection. Students laminate the dried leaves for easier handling and storage.
The collections can be used to:
- create a set of life-size leaf identification guides for use in outdoor education settings
- create a record of the plants growing along a transect line to view changes in the area on an annual or biennial basis
- create a collection of plants for use in observation and classification activities
- create a set of sample leaves to find in a scavenger hunt
- create a display for aesthetic reasons – similar to the coffee table plant books of the Victorian era.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- understand the processes used for collecting, pressing and drying plant leaves
- use resources to identify the plant leaves
- decide what information to include on an identification label
- discuss the value in having a leaf collection.
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- background information for teachers
- student instructions.
Find out how botany curators at Te Papa collect, describe and catalogue native plants in Documenting New Zealand’s Ferns.
Learn more about native New Zealand trees and plants with:
- the Department of Conservation’s Experiencing native trees in your green space teaching resource
- Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research’s Key to native plants of schools and marae in New Zealand
- University of Otago’s Flora Finder app
- New Zealand Plant Conservation Network’s Leaves PDF.