I owe this one to the lovely backpacker who babysat my girls in Ngukurr. They came home with the most fabulous multimedia creations involving paint, rocks, containers and glitter glued leaves. What a great way to explore the veins and patterns on leaves and learn about different plants.
First collect your leaves, always a fun activity in itself.
Then use a contrasting glitter glue to go over the veins. Leaves with nice large veins are easier for little ones. I was fascinated how easily it showed the different branching patterns from the classic ‘one big one down the middle with branches’ to the multiple divisions of the tomato leaf.
This shows how easy the glue makes it to compare leaves that are superficially similar but actually very different. They are both long and thin, but the gum leaf on the left has branching veins, while the palm frond on the right has many long parallel veins. This is one of the characteristics of monocots, a group of related plants that include palms and grasses, including grains. It’s an important classification and this is the best way I’ve ever seen of making it really clear.
And here’s an example of why it can be difficult. Another long, thin leaf, and if you just look at the veins superficially they look parallel. But when you follow them all the way and highlight them with the glue, you can see that it actually follows a branching pattern.
And then think of all the things you can do with your pretty, glittery leaves. This is a nice quick game we’ll definitely be doing again.
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