(845) 563-3400     124 Grand Street, Newburgh, NY 12550

A Walk In The Woods

Grade Levels

Pre-K - 2nd




leaf, sensory, graph, woodland, forest, nature, ckla

Forest Locations

  • Upper Reservior
  • Conifer Stand
  • Science Center

Download Trail Map


  • Parent Chaperones (at least 1 for every 3 or 4 students)
  • Chart paper
  • Push Pins
  • Laminated pictures of various leaves to discover
  • One gallon Ziploc baggies (1 per student or pair of students)
  • Objects or Utensils for marking chart (markers/pencils/crayons/stickers etc..)


  • Short walk to conifer stand from bus drop-off at Upper Reservoir (5 minutes)
  • Handing out of materials and teacher demonstration(bags and leaf guides) (5 Minutes)
  • Discovery and collection of leaves (20 Minutes)
  • Sorting and making chart of which leaves were found (15 minutes)
  • Walk back to Science Center (20 minutes)
  • Tick Check (10 minutes)

Pre-Forest Activity

In the classroom, the teacher will read and discuss a read-aloud on the woodland habitat. Vocabulary during discussion should include: leaf, tree, trunk, pine, fern, woodland, forest, pointy, round, smooth, bumpy, long, short, wet, dry, more, less, same, over, under, beside.

Also, parents will be instructed to dress students appropriately (long pants, shirts, socks and closed shoes).

Forest Activity

  1. After being dropped off at Upper Reservoir, the class will take a short walk around the reservoir to the conifer stand
  2. At the conifer stand, the teacher(s) will hand out the baggies and laminated leaf guides for reference.
  3. Teacher will demonstrate picking up one leaf at a time and picking up various types of leaves.
  4. Students will 'explore' the area while collecting leaves in the baggies.
  5. Teacher will call students back together
  6. Students will add stickers to chart - Different sticker for each type of leaf found, one sticker for each leaf. (might have to do this at science center based on weather)
  7. Class will walk back to science center
  8. Teacher and Parents will conduct a tick check

Post-Forest Activity

Students will use chart to:

  • count number of each leaf found
  • compare amounts
    • more
    • less
    • equal
    • most
    • least
  • discuss how fallen leaves turn into soil
    • recall from previous lessons that soil is one of a plant's basic needs.


Successful participation in collecting, charting and discussion will show students' levels of understanding.

Learning Standards

P-PS1-1: Ask questions and use observations to test the claim that different kinds of matter exist as either solid or liquid.  

[Clarification Statement: Emphasis Should be on observing and describing similarities and differences between solids and liquids based on physical properties. Solids and liquids can be compared and categorized.] 


Students will gather, count, and compare leaves during a nature walk.

Lesson will be tied into the beginning portion of the NYS Preschool Core Knowledge Language Arts Domain 5:Habitats.  This lesson will be used during the first portion of the habitat domain, where lessons will focus on the woodland habitat (Late April/Early May).


Students will collect leaves and create a graph of leaves and compare what they found using descriptive terms (round, pointy, short, long, etc..)

Students will use graph to compare amounts of the types of leaves found. (more, less, most, least, equal, same).


This is a lesson in sorting and comparing to the Next-Gen Science standard listed above. Throughout the school year, students will have been comparing and sorting various objects/materials in different ways. This lesson will focus on students collecting leaves and creating a graph to count and compare their findings.

Safety Concerns

Appropriate clothing for woods and weather is important.  Tick check should be conducted after students return to the Science Center.


This lesson was prepared by Rich Armato and Mark Etri,  We hope that this lesson will assist teachers linking the classroom lesson and bring it to the outdoors classroom. Giving the students the sense of what a real Woodland Habitat is like.