What we see in nature often can be characterized in terms of geometric shapes. Students should think about the shapes they may see in sea shells, rocks, flowers, and leaves. In this exercise, students first consider what a leaf is before moving onto an activity in which they consider its shape and surface area.
Definition: From a technical perspective, a leaf is defined by the placement of its associated axillary bud. You can use a definition from the biology textbooks your students use.
Characteristics: (structural) Leaves generally (but not always) have a stalk, called a petiole, which connects the expanded blade to the stem. Leaves have teeth on the margins of the blade. Hairs can be found in many places on the leaf. (functional) Leaves are generally the primary photosynthetic surface for a plant.
Examples: You could have students draw leaves for this section instead of them just listing a maple leaf, pine leaf, etc.
Non-examples: In general, plants have three major types of organs: leaves, roots, and stems. Therefore, roots and stems are clearly organs but not leaves and therefore would fall into the non-examples box of the Frayer diagram. Flowers are compressed shoots and are not considered organs. Cones are the reproductive structures of gymnosperms and are not leaves. Also list other plant parts which are not defined as leaves as students think of them.This teacher sheet is a part of the Finding the Surface Area of a Leaf lesson.