Cut sections through leaves of any of the three plants to observe the arrangement of tissues inside.
Construct food webs for holly, based on herbivores (holly-blue butterfly caterpillars, holly leaf-miner); carnivores (blue tits, great tits - both species open leaf-mines to get out the grubs inside); and omnivores (thrushes and robins will eat holly berries as well as grubs in leaf-mines and caterpillars of the holly blue - if they can get them). Find out more about how the berries are dispersed.
Holly, ivy and mistletoe all make excellent subjects for drawing and painting - for example, in making Christmas cards.
Statistical tests can be taught using holly leaves to provide data: comparing numbers of spines per leaf low down and higher up the tree; mean number of leaf-mines per leaf on trees in exposed and sheltered situations.
Grind ivy leaves with a pestle and mortar and dissolve the resulting chlorophyll in water or other solvent to use in chroma-tography.
Investigate the distribution of the three plants in Britain and Europe and compare this with various environmental factors such as temperature.
Investigate the traditions and mythology surrounding the use of these plants at Christmas.
Investigate the religious significance of the plants.