Leaf Hunt Maths

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Autumn, or fall as it's known where I live now, is a great time to get outside with your kids and explore the natural environment.

Grab a paper bag, or recyclable container, and go on a leaf hunt in a local park, or garden. Encourage your child to think about what autumn looks, feels and smells like as they collect leaves, sticks, acorns, pine cones and conkers that have fallen from the trees.

Top tips:

  • Before you go on your leaf hunt, talk about creatures and plants that should be avoided, e.g. ants that may bite, nettles and poisonous berries.

  • Check that the area you are leaf hunting in is safe and free from dangerous objects, e.g broken glass.

  • Make sure that you wash your hands after collecting the leaves.

Use what you have collected in art activities, to stimulate writing, or, to introduce and develop maths concepts, e.g. handling data.

Be a maths detective

Think about how you can use the leaves in data handling activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • sort the leaves simply by colour or shape.

  • sort the leaves by their visual attributes, e.g. colour or shape, using a Venn diagram.

(A Venn diagram is a visual organizer, made up of two or three overlapping circles that explores the relationship between a set of different things.)

  • We sorted the leaves by colour onto a Venn diagram.

    • Leaves that were brown were put in the first circle.
    • Leaves that were yellow were put in the second circle.
    • Leaves that were brown and yellow were placed in the middle of the two circles, in the overlapping part.
    • Leaves that were neither brown or yellow could not go in the circles and were left outside them.
  • Use leaf colour, or shape, as sorting criteria to create a block graph, or tally chart. Ask questions;

    • Which colour of leaf did you find the most of?
    • How many more red leaves than green leaves did you find?

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