read alouds

Why do leaves change?

 Why do leaves change color? That's always the first question I hear out of my kids mouths when it starts to happen. I found this fun experiment that helped it hit home!

Here are a few books I recommend reading to students to learn why:

Students always get so much out of videos too. I always go to Mystery Doug if I can! 

Alright, now for the experiment! Here is what you need:
  • Clear Cups or jars
  • water
  • rubbing alcohol
  • leaves of like color
  • white tissue or coffee filter
Here's how I would start it off in my classroom...

1. I would take the kids on a leaf hunt. Give them each a plastic bag and tell them to fill it up.
2. Once inside, instruct students to sort leaves by color! 
3. Combine the classes leaves so that you have about 4 different colors of leaves grouped together.
4. Next, cut/rip those leaves into pieces. About 1/2 inch to an inch is great!
5. Put leaves into mason jars or clear cups. Only fill it about a quarter of the way up.
6. Add equal parts rubbing alcohol and water.
7. Stick a tissue in or a white coffee filter.
8. Make sure the bottom of the tissue or coffee filter is IN the solution!
9. Wait for about a day to observe the changes that happen!

A lot of these tasks can be placed into centers so that you don't need to use precious whole group time to complete them! You can save that time for discussion and learning about the WHY!

Now, onto a few pictures!

As you can see, the color from the leaves travels to the top of the tissue! The leaves in the jar actually change color. Can you believe these leaves were RED!

This is how we documented the changes. This is our before jar to show what the jar looked like before the experiment got a change to begin!

This is what the jar looked like after! So many comparisons that students can make here.

I made a few activity sheets to help you with your students with their learning.
Enjoy!! Click HERE!

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