Leaf Identification Games & Activities

Instructor: Jennifer Smith

Jenn has been an educator for 10 years. She has a master's degree in Teacher Leadership and a bachelors degree in Elementary Education and English Language Acquisition.

Not many people notice leaves until Fall comes around and they start to see them strewn across the ground. These leaf identification games and activities will help students learn how to tell leaves apart, even if they look the same.

Leaf Identification Games & Activities

All leaves are the same, right? They come from trees, are typically green and change color in the Fall, but leaves are so much more. every leaf is different from the rest. These activities and games are a fun way to introduce the Fall season or a plant unit.

Leaf sorting


  • Assorted leaves of varying shape and color
  • Chart paper
  • Marker


Have students volunteer to sort the leaves. When they believe they are finished, have each student explain to the class how they sorted the leaves. How do they know the leaves are in the correct pile? Keep track of the different ways students sort their leaves. For example, if the first student sorts by color, no other student may sort by color for the rest of the activity. This makes the game more challenging as it goes on. Ways to sort could be color, shape, vein pattern, size, etc.

Leaf hunt


  • Leaf identification key

Leaves identification


Students are to work with a partner or in small groups to find each type of leaf on the diagram. After about 10-15 minutes, regroup and discuss what types of leaves were found. Why were other types of leaves not found? This will help students understand that, due to climate, rainfall, and other environmental factors, different regions are home to different types of vegetation.

Another way to extend the activity is to divide the class into small groups. Gather up all the leaves and place them on a table in the front of the room. Hold each leaf up one at a time so students can see them. With the help of the leaves key, the first team to identify each leaf gets points. The group with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Leaf Rubbings


  • Leaves of varying colors and shapes
  • blank paper
  • colored pencils or crayons

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