Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#4386. Leaf Classification

Science, level: Senior
Posted Wed Apr 29 16:19:10 PDT 2009 by Abhinav Krishnan (Abhinav Krishnan).
Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
Materials Required: Look Below:
Activity Time: 1 Class Period
Concepts Taught: Plant Speciation


Students will learn about deciduous trees, their various leaves, and the arrangements associated with them (i.e. simple, compound, alternate). Students will also take a "field trip" into the school yard and discuss the species of trees that grow locally.

1) Introduce the concepts behind leaf classification and its usage.
2) Give students hand-on experience in tree/leaf identification.
3) Encourage class discussion and questions in order to better understand the plants that grow in the local ecosystem.

Learning Resources and Materials
1) Overhead projector and overhead markers.
2) Various collected leaves.
3) Handout/Transparencies of biological key.
4) Classification quiz.

Development of Lesson
Students will be taken outside into the school yard and work individually to observe and collect leaves from various trees. The lecture will discuss the different types of leaf structures and functions. A biological key will be provided to help determine the species of trees in the area from their leaves.

1) Lecture to students about the various types of leaf structures, (simple, compound, alternate, opposite).
2) Take students outside each endowed with a biological key and allow them to try and identify the local trees from their leaves.
3) Inside the classroom divide the students into groups of five. Provide each group with three different leaves. Ask the group questions about the different structures of their leaves. Allow them to try and identify the type of tree using their notes and key.
4) In the last 15 minutes of class administer a quiz that focuses on leaf structure and types of leaves that local tree species have.

1) Students with disabilities can participate freely outdoors with the rest of the students, a partner can be provided if necessary.
2) Encourage involvement in the group portion of this lesson as well.

1) Students will be assessed in group and overall participation.
2) A quiz will also be administered at the end of class for evaluation.


Quizzes will be graded in order to assess the effectiveness of the lesson in conveying the information. Student reaction to the lesson will also be taken into account.

For future classes, the order in which the lesson is administered may be tweaked, as well as the questions asked. Student questions may possibly be used in the quiz.

Teacher Reflection

The benchmarks in this lesson were very well covered. The material was well understood and applied by the students. This lesson will be used in the future with students possibly choosing the quiz questions in order to encourage even greater student participation.