Weaving with leaves!
There are many different shapes and sizes of leaves. Some are long and thin, and some are short and oval. Some have sharp points on the edges like a holly, and some are deeply lobed like an oak tree. Leaves are very important to the plant and to people as well.
Leaves are the plants’ food factory. Leaves can act like little solar panels collecting energy from the sun. A leaf is a plant organ that uses the sun to make its own food! How cool is that?
Plants usually have green leaves that contain chlorophyll, which traps energy from the sun. This process is called photosynthesis. Do you love sugar? Plants love sugar, too! They take water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air to make their own food – sugar! What would you make if you could make your own food like plants do? During this process, they release oxygen, which is what we need to breathe. This process is called respiration.
We also eat leaves. How many of you eat lettuce, collards, mustard greens, spinach and chard? Yum!
People have also used plants to make things that they needed. Many cultures have used plant material to weave baskets for holding and carrying things. They each had their favorite plant for this purpose and their own artistic style of making them. Plants were also used to weave mats for sitting and sleeping on.
People need plants for the oxygen they produce, the food we eat, and the many things we can make out of them. And don’t forget their beauty!
Make your own weaving with leaves!
Construction paper and scissors
Leaves from the garden
Cardboard, string, and sticks
Cut 12 strips of construction paper 1 inch wide and 9 inches long. (You can make it as large as you want).
Collect small leaves from the garden that will fit on your strips.
Put a small bead of glue on the strip of paper and lay your leaves on top.
You may need to lay a book on top of the strips to help them dry flat.
Start weaving your strips by laying out a row of 6 strips and then weave the other 6 strips through them by going under and over the first set of six.
You can leave space between the strips or tighten them up close together.
Cut a piece of cardboard and carefully lay your weaving on top and glue it to the cardboard. Use a punch to put two holes at the top edge of the cardboard.
Find a stick in the garden that you like and use it to frame the top of the weaving. Take string or yarn and tie the stick to the cardboard. This will also give you a place to tie your string for hanging.
You can also cut long flat leaves such as iris or gladiolus and weave the leaves themselves! Have fun and use your imagination!