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A young boy looking with safety goggles on his head at a leaf with a magnifying glass

Lesson plan: Learning with Leaves

This lesson plan is ideal for an outdoor-based autumn maths class, as it gets pupils using leaves to measure and calculate.

Activity details

This simple set of activities inspired by the humble leaf reinforces our mantra that outdoor learning is easy, cheap and doesn’t need tonnes of planning.

Skills and curriculum links

This lesson enables students to:

  • estimate and measure leaves in a number of ways
  • learn different techniques to measure a complex shape
  • think about fair tests and be asked to organise and display their data

We've designed the lesson to help teachers cover the following KS2 subject areas:

  • KS2 Maths - Measurement, geometry and statistics

Lesson plan

Extension activities

Leaves are great! There are plenty of opportunities to use them to bring maths alive. 

Putting leaves into sets is also a worthwhile activity, especially if you ask the pupils to write their own rules to describe each set. Laying out hula hoops in the playground provides instant results; again it only really works outside on a still day. 

Activities around symmetry in nature can raise a lot of questions and inspire interesting artwork. Draw around a leaf, cut out the shape and fold it in half. If the two halves mirror each other then you have found the only symmetrical leaf in the world. 


Further resources

Have a look at the Woodland Trust's resources for nature-loving kids. They create and collect mountains of brilliant outdoor activities that will inspire and help with planning outdoor learning and play sessions. 

Learning through Landscapes have created and curated a brilliant collection of outdoor activities to inspire and inform your planning.


Photo credit: Tom Griffiths

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