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Leaves Change Color


Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
Fall leaves of various colors


1. Read the book and discuss with the children the color change process.
2. Tell the children the names of the pigments responsible for the change: xanthophyll, carotene and anthocyanin.
3. Take the children on a fall walk to collect colored leaves.
4. Gather them together in a group and teach the pigment names using the leaves as visual aids and the rhyme below.

Original poem
Xanthophyll, xanthophyll
Pretty yellow fellow
When it turns old, he makes leaves gold
Xanthophyll is yellow.
Carotene, carotene
It's orange as can be
When fall is near, orange leaves are here
Carotene is orange.
Anthocyanin, anthocyanin
It makes red so bright
Inside the leaves it hides till fall
And turns leaves red out of sight!
Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6
Center: Outdoors
Topic: Flowers/Trees/Nature/Earth
Content: Science
Area: Fine Motor
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

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