Thematic Teacher

Literacy through Art, Science, & Social Studies


Science Tool

Science centers are a wonderful way to foster student interest and curiosity.  Collect materials and solicit help from your students' parents to create a classroom plant press, or two, that will last a lifetime.  They are made of pine shelving, bolts, washers, wing nuts, and cardboard.  It's a project a lot of dads like to do, who can't normally help in the room.

Make Your Own Plant Press

Your students can press leaves, flowers, and bugs (dead ones, of course) for multiple purposes, such as

  • making study cards--mount the pressed item on cover stock and laminate--you'll have center items that will last a long time (and are MUCH less expensive than items purchased from a science supply store)
  • making microscope slides--pressed plant and animal parts are easy to view using magnifying lenses and microscopes
  • making art projects--arrange pressed items between sheets of waxed paper or clear contact paper to make beautiful window hangers or book covers
  • making stationary--glue and/or laminate pressed leaves and flowers on cover stock to make greeting cards
  • creating displays of natural resources of native people, colonial times, the mountains, river banks, etc.
  • making matching and sorting games--for example,
  • sets of items such as leaves from the same tree during different seasons
  • match the front side of a leaf to its backside
  • sort leaves by type


Specific, step-by-step directions, illustrated with photographs,

are included so that students, as well as adults, will be able

to make these lovely tools. The cover image is included in

Word format so that it may be resized to fit smaller presses

(the standard image will fit 8"-10" boards).