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Leaf Match Game


Test students' matching skills with this fun game.


No special materials needed.


Nancy F. Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and learning. In addition to the three titles above, Nancy has written activity guides for teaching children ages 6 to 9 about the ocean, rainforests, deserts, and rivers. All of these titles are published by Chicago Review Press.

Click here to learn about these books and others by Nancy Castaldo.

Pick a leaf from a tree before you take a walk around the school playground or the nearby neighborhood.

Let students examine the leaf. Is it pointy? round? smooth? fuzzy?

Begin your walk. Have students search for the tree that has the same type of leaf. How many trees can you find with the same leaf?

Adapt the Activity

Instead of having all students search for a single type of leaf and tree, you might
  • select several different types of leaves for students to find.
  • arrange students into small groups and give each group a different leaf.


Involve students in some of these extension activities:

Make a leaf person. Press a leaf in a phone book for a couple days. Then glue it to a piece of construction paper. This will be your "leaf person's" body. Draw a head, arms, and legs with a crayon.

Collect a big bunch of colorful autumn leaves. Arrange them in a glass to create an autumn-leaf bouquet.

Collect a bunch of green leaves. Trace each one on some paper. See all the different shapes. Look in a leaf identification book to find the type of tree to which each leaf belongs.


Sort Them Out
Notice that leaf lines, or veins, in some leaves are side-by-side in straight lines. In other leaves, the leaf lines look like branches. All leaves have one or the other pattern: straight lines or branches. Sort your leaves into those two groups.


Education World's special Fall Lesson Archive


This activity is excerpted from Nancy Castaldo's Sunny Days and Starry Nights, which is published by Chicago Review Press. The activity is one of more than 65 activities from Sunny Days and Starry Nights that are sure to inspire children as they discover and learn.

About the Author

A native of New York's Hudson Valley, Nancy Castaldo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College and a Master of Arts from the State University of New York. As an environmental educator, author, and Girl Scout volunteer and board member, Castaldo has led numerous children's workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures and other nature topics, creative writing, and pizza making/Italy. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children's Museum, Atlanta Zoo, and Tennessee Aquarium. Castaldo's books include River Wild: An Activity Guide to North American Rivers; Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; and Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9. She is also author of a historical-fiction picture book, Pizza for the Queen. To learn more about Nancy and her books, check out her Web site, www.nancycastaldo.com.

Article by Nancy Castaldo
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