STEM - Leaf Investigators

STEM - Leaf Investigators

Activity 1 of 2 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Early Learning
  • Science
  • The Arts
  • Social
  • Outdoor Learning
  • ...

Lesson summary

Children participate in a tactile exploration of leaves. Leaf Investigators is a great way to introduce STEM at your early learning centre. The activity offers nature-based learning opportunities using a guided approach. Children are engaged in a nature hunt for leaves, followed by a scientific investigation focused on discovering what makes a leaf grow. They explore the texture of leaves using rubbings and leaf imprinting and describe their observations.

Learning intentions:

Children will...

  • learn about leaves in nature
  • make connections about how leaves grow and change
  • explain how leaves contribute to nature.

Success criteria:

Children can...

  • identify a leaf
  • see different parts of the leaf - stem, leaf, veins
  • measure and analyse the leaf based on size and shape
  • create 2D (and 3D) representations of a leaf.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Educator Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

EYLF Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

Learning Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners

4.1 Children develop a growth mindset and learning dispositions such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

4.2 Children develop a range of learning and thinking skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

Learning Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes

5.3 Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media

Time required: 55 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium - Early years educators are to set up the experience and assist children during the STEM session. Two or more activity stations need to be set up, and gentle assistance should provided as children engage with the activities.

Resources required

  • drawing materials (crayons)
  • leaves collected from nature or found at the early learning centre
  • magnifying glasses (if possible)
  • paper for leaf rubbings
  • playdough for extended sensory imprinting
  • rulers.


This lesson is designed to build competencies in the following skills:

  • flexibility
  • empathy
  • ethical understanding
  • social skills.

Additional info

This is an original Cool+ lesson.

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