1. Find an area where you
can collect a good sample of layers
of leaves and soil. In a forest is a great place to collect your sample.
2. Observe the area around
this spot and take note of the
life around it.
3. Collect several scoops
of leaves and some of the soil and put
in your bucket or bag.
4. Take your sample to an
area to work in.
5. Empty your contents of
leaf litter on or in a contained
surface/area so that you can spread
it around to get a good look at
all the contents within.
6. Put on your garden gloves and use a paint brush to
move around and sweep through
the leaf litter. Taking care not to injure any living insects.
7. Can you see anything
moving? If so collect the
insects with a scoop, the paint
brush or pooter and put them in
your small container or Petri
dish and examine it with your
8. Make notes of what you
can detect from the leaf litter.
Can you identify any of the insects
9. Collect leaf litter from
a completely different area and
compare your findings. Maybe
you collected from under a tree
so you may want to compare these
insects with what you may find
from an entirely different surrounding.
Ask yourself these
1. Did you find
anything that was alive and moving?
2. Did you find
anything that was no longer alive?
3. What insects
did you find in your leaf litter?
4. Would you
consider leaf litter to be part
of the food chain?
5. Do the non-living
insects and microbial life serve
From leaf litter you
could possibly find:
(Within the ecological food chain,
consumers are categorized into three
groups within an ecological food
• Primary consumers
- are usually herbivores, feeding
on plants and fungus.
• Secondary consumers
- are mainly carnivorous and prey
on other animals.
• Tertiary consumers
- are carnivore at the topmost
level that feed on other carnivores.
They feed on secondary consumers
and primary consumers. In
this experiment we are looking
Did you know...
~Leaf litter is food
and shelter for insects and microbial
of leaf litter contains living and
~Leaf litter and soil
litter help to maintain soil fertility
~ Nutrients locked
up in dead organic matter are released
through a complex food chain.
BE SURE TO
WASH YOU HAND AFTER DOING YOUR EXPERIMENT!