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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Leaf Animals

Lesson Description:
  • Elementary students will gather leaves found outside on the ground in the fall. They will use the leaves that they have collected to create critters, creatures, or animals.
  • Eco-fact: In autumns leaves change color and turn yellow, orange or red when the tree reacts to cold temperatures and less sunlight by reducing chlorophyll production.

  • Students will gather leaves of many colors, sizes, and shapes found outside on the ground in the fall.
  • Place leaves between layers of newspapers to dry and under a stack of heavy books to flatten. Keep leaves in newspaper and under books for about a week.
  • On construction or drawing paper arrange your leaves to build critters, creatures, or animals. Get creative. Rip or tear leaves to make animal shapes and features such as eyes, horns, or tails.
  • Glue all the parts of critters, creatures, or animals together onto the construction or drawing paper.
  • Let critter creations dry.

  • Teacher can require students to make specific animals such as squirrels in early fall or turkeys for thanksgiving.

  • Students can write stories about their leave critters.
  • Students can create a “critter museum” displaying their leave creations.

Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Gardening

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Time Needed:
30 minutes plus time to collect leaves
Materials Needed:
  • tacky glue
  • colorful fall leaves of different shapes and sizes
  • construction or drawing paper
  • heavy books to flatten leaves
  • newspapers to dry leaves

School or Group:
Contact Email:

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