II: Pressing Leaves
you have looked at is fun and can be very useful. Just having a plant
sample to hold and look at helps us to remember the collecting and gathering
experience. The best way to preserve leaves in the classroom is to dry
them flat using some kind of leaf press.
A leaf press
is a simple tool for the Journey North classroom. Presses can be used
to flatten plant specimens. Making one is a simple process. They can be
made with wood--or simply by using large books.
are some suggestions for making a plant press.
1. The 'low-tech'
plant press can simply be a large telephone book whose pages serve to
hold and flatten your plant specimens.
2. An adjustable press can be made easily using only a few materials:
or absorbent paper, such as blotter paper
2 to 3 inch flat screws with washers and wing nuts
- some pieces
of lumber or plywood for the top and bottom covers
covers can be any size, but should be able to fit into a backpack for
holes for the screws in each corner of the wood covers. The flat screws
and wing nuts allow the press to be tightened down to flatten whatever
amount of plant material is between the papers in the press.
a generous amount of newspaper between the wooden pages of the press.
A deluxe press would have both newspapers for spacers and blotter paper
pieces for drying the plant specimens. (An average plant specimen takes
3-5 days to dry in a press.)
Part III: Creating a Time-Line Book