Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer of Science: Leaf Rubbings

One of the tools that I would like to improve at using in my classroom is a Science Notebook. I know that last year I tried to work on building science journals with my students but I didn't have a narrow enough focus to really have the journals become useful.

So I decided that I would start keeping one of my own, as an adult, to see how I used it in real life and what I would like it to look like.  As always, I decided that if I can do it, Evelyn can do a kid version of it.

Today we had our first "science time". I started small with something easy: leaf rubbings!

The first thing we did was write the date in the upper right hand corner of our journals. Then, we picked a leaf. I showed Evelyn how to put it on the page under the one you want the image on and to place the leaf smooth side down so you get the best product possible. Then I helped her hold her page while she creating a rubbing.

We repeated this process in our notebooks until we had a sample from each of the trees out our house.

For Evelyn, the pictures we created were enough. I wanted to go through and identify the exact species of tree that each of them came from. has program on their website that allows you to identify trees based on repeated classification, sort of like a dichotomous key.

While examining one of our little specimens, we discovered something amazing!

These were on the bottom of a leaf from our Pecan Tree. Evelyn remembered from the book Eggs we checked out from the library that these were insect eggs and probably a moth egg. 

And let me tell you - those eggs REALLY got Evelyn and I's research drive into gear!

We landed on this website:

In this post the author discusses moth eggs and has several pictures. At the bottom we really enjoyed the photo showing moth eggs over time. We learned that moth eggs are white when they are laid but gradually change color as the larvae grow until they are ready to hatch out!  We think ours were at the hatching stage and upon closer look, think several may have already hatched.

Just a day of leaf rubbings that turned into some pretty fun scientific research.

Here are my pages from the leaf rubbing:

I learned the words "lobe" and "sinus" as they relate to leaf shape descriptions.

I noticed that there were different patterns to the leaf veins in the Crepe Myrtle and Peach Tree Leaf. 

Now I'm working on reflecting on the day. I'm going to add what I learned about the eggs and tape in our photograph of the eggs we observed along with one of moth eggs at different stages.

Evelyn's book just has the different rubbings she did. Her descriptions are things like "big", "green", "small", and "round" which are perfectly find at her age. Good practice regardless...and dare I

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