Leafy-Family-Doodles (Science: Inheritance in Plants)

Time Required: One 45-minute session
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will identify the inherited characteristics of leaves, analyzing how 4 leaves of the same plant are alike or different. Students will identify the traits that make these leaves the same and then creatively disguise the leaves as totally new elements or characters.

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Lesson Plan



Print out Leaf Lab Worksheets for the students before the start of the lesson.

Step 2

Whole group: Take students on a nature walk to select 4-6 leaves from one type of plant or tree.

Step 3

Have students seal their leaves into plastic baggies.

Step 4

Share the first goal: Students will analyze the 4 leaves they've collected for inherited characteristics. How are they the same or different?

Step 5

Project your tablet or computer screen on the board and display the Leaf Lab Worksheet. Instruct students on how to compare their leaves for size, shape, color, texture, and thickness. How are they the same or different? Do all 4 leaves have the same needs?

*water, sun, nutrients

Step 6

Hand out magnifiers, Leaf Lab Worksheets, pencils, and crayons. Instruct students to observe their leaves and then fill out their lab sheet with a partner. Younger students can draw pictures instead of answering questions in sentences.

Step 7

Return to the whole group to share the inherited characteristics of each pair's leaves.

Step 8

Share the second goal: Disguise your leaves with a 3Doodler, so that none of your leaves look the same. Students may combine leaves or add to leaves, as seen in the accompanying images. Students may disguise their leaves with patterns or as creatures or animals, utilizing their shape as inspiration. Show students images from this activity.

Wrap Up

Students share their disguised leaves with the group. Mix up students' doodled leaves and instruct students to try to sort them back into "family" groupings. Can students still determine which sets of leaves are similar and belong to the same plant family? Students share their doodled leaves on Twitter. #3DoodlerEDU @3Doodler


The teacher will assess the students by evaluating their leaves and their participation throughout the stages of this activity.

Possible Extensions

Students will write creative poems or stories about their doodled leaves, as members of a family. Example: "The Leaf who Wanted to be Different." How is the leaf in the story the same? What does he do to try and be different? How does the story end?


  • categorizing - place in a particular class or group.

  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • comparison - the act or instance of comparing.

  • creative thinking - a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh and imaginative perspective.

  • design - to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans (for a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of an object, building, bridge, etc...

  • inheritance - a thing that is inherited.

  • leaf - a flattened structure of a higher plant, typically green and bladelike, that is attached to a stem directly or via a stalk. Leaves are the main organs of photosynthesis and transpiration.

  • plant - a living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses, typically growing in a permanent site, absorbing water and inorganic substances through its roots, and synthesizing nutrients in its leaves by photosynthesis using the green pigment chlorophyll.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • science - a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.

  • tree - a woody perennial plant having a single usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

In This Lesson

Students work together to identify and create new leaves.

Next Gen Science
LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

Young animals are very much like, but not exactly like, their parents. Plants also are very much, but not exactly, like their parents. (1-LS3-1)

In This Lesson

Students will identify characteristics of leaves that make them similar and then disguise the same leaves using a 3Doodler.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of identifying the inherited characteristics of leaves through collection, observation, recording and then modifying leaves with a 3Doodler.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to creatively enhance the differences in 4 leaves from one plant or tree.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will doodle new elements or creatures using leaves and a 3Doodler.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will confer with a partner and the whole group throughout this activity.

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