Leaf Rubbing



The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.


The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I’ll put a trinket on.

~Emily Dickinson

Leaf Rubbing

Leaf rubbing is a great activity any time of the year. It definitely is a favorite in the fall when leaves change colors. Simply rub a crayon over a leave placed under a piece of copy paper; like magic, The leave appears in front of your eyes.


  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Leaves

Leaf Hunt

We start this activity by going on a leaf hunt in our yard. The best leaves come from our sycamore trees. They have the distinct maple leave shape and are excellent for rubbing.

It is very helpful to have a collection of leaves already prepared. This way every student will have great leaves, even if they don’t find any on the walk. We even press and laminate really nice leaves in order to use them over and over. Pressed leaves also make for great fall decoration.

This activity is a great extension to exploring Fibonacci numbers in nature. You can read more about using the Fibonacci sequence to deepen number sense right here.

Art & Poetry

The rubbings also lend themselves to visualize your favorite fall poems. One of our favorites is  Autumn by Emily Dickinson. We charted the poem and the class reads it chorally during our Morning Meeting. Students later copy the poem for penmanship practice; a great fall keepsake that is greatly appreciated by our families.


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