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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Nature Bookmarks

Lesson Description:
Students will collect interesting plants they find in their garden. Once collected the plants will be dried, pressed and made into bookmarks.

Eco-fact: Photosynthesis is the process that allows plants to take energy from the sun and create sugars.


Collecting plants
  • Walk around outside with your group and observe the different types of plants found there.
  • Have each kid find the most unordinary, extraordinary, not your average plant and cut a four to six inch piece with scissors or gardening sheers. Include a few leaves, but be careful not to cut a small, young plant. Children should not cut from the same plant – over-pruning can cause damage while just a snip won’t be noticed. They should cut from the outside of the bush or plant (the inside tends to be new shoots).
  • Bring your plant findings inside.
  • Place a piece of cardboard on the table, with two pieces of newspaper or tissue paper on top of it.
  • Then lay a plant clipping on top of the newspaper.
  • Cover the plant with two more pieces of newspaper or tissue paper and another piece of cardboard.
  • Lay down two more sheets of newspaper and repeat the same process until all the plants have been placed in a stack. You can top off your stack with a brick or stone if desired.
  • Set the stack in a cool, dry spot and place several heavy books on top. Let the plants remain in the stack for 24 hours or more, until they have completely dried.

Making a Pressed Plant Bookmark
  • Each child will cut out a bookmark shape from the card stock. You can use the typical rectangle shape or get creative. your bookmarks can be in the shape of a huge flower or an oval. it is up to you.
  •  Next kids will lay out the dried, pressed plants on the book Mark in a pleasing manner. do not glue them down until sure you like the plant placement. glue the plants in place. Now kids can decorate bookmark with markers, crayons - even glitter.
  • Kids will trace a shape a little bit bigger than their bookmark out of the contact paper. Cover book mark with the contact paper. if you have a laminator you can laminate your bookmark.
  • Punch a hole in top of the book mark. Cut a piece of ribbon or yarn to hang out of the book. Tie it in the hole.

  • Use dried and pressed flower petals in bookmarks. follow same procedure.

Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Gardening

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Materials Needed:
Materials for pressing plants:
  • Newspaper or tissue paper
  • Cardboard for plant pressing (recycled from cereal boxes, works great!)
  • Several heavy books or phone book
  • Scissors or garden pruning shears
  • Brick or stone
  • Glue

Materials for making bookmarks
  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Dried pressed flowers or flower petals
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Glue
  • Contact paper or a laminator
  • Paper hole punch

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