Need for lesson - Picture samples of fungi.
can be pasted onto an index file card for quick reference
Today we are going to find out about fungi. What do you think fungi is? The fungi kingdom is made up of many different kinds of fungus. Fungi can be lots of different colors and shapes. For many years it was believed that fungi were plants, but fungi are different from plants in many ways. We have learned that plants can make their own food. Fungi cannot do this. Fungi feed by absorption of nutrients from the environment around them. Fungus are everywhere. They like damp shady places. It is in soil, lakes, rivers, and even in the air. Fungi help to recycle plants after they die, and transform them into rich soil. Most fungi produce spores which are blown around by the wind. It is similar to how the wind helps seeds to travel, only with fungi, the wind blows spores because fungi do not have seeds. Fungi do not have roots or leaves either. So how do they grow? They begin life as tiny spores. When sprinkled with moisture, or water, the spores swell like seeds and begin growing. A tiny thread grows out from the spore. The thread grows longer and starts to twist, turn, crisscross, and grows back on itself until they look like a mass of cobwebs and starts to grow into the fungi it will become.
If you open a door or window, thousands of the fungi spores that are in the air, can float inside. They are much too small for our eyes to see. Some of the spores may land on food, a bathtub, a pair of shoes, or other places inside. If the fungi spores start to grow in these places it is called mold. Mold is a kind of fungi. There are 1,000's of different kinds of molds. Outside, mold can be found growing on porches, fences, or on trees.
Let's look at some pictures of different fungi.
Bread-Mold Experiment - Talk with the children about fungi in the air. If it is in the air, can we see it grow on something? Which conditions will the kind of fungus called mold grow best in. We can do an experiment to find out. Use the three pieces of bread in different ways to see which one grows mold and how fast.
Need - Three pieces of bread, plastic wrap, clear jar, and brown paper bag and a water spray bottle. Seal one of the pieces of bread in plastic after misting it with water. Place one in the brown bag, and the last piece in a sealed jar with a mist of water. Wait and see what happens in a few days.
Mold Samples - Allow something to mold in your home and bring it in to show the children a sample of different kinds of mold.
Need for lesson - Parts of a Crayfish (MontessoriPrintShop) and/or other materials to review crustaceans.
Parts of a Crawfish
Hermit the Crab by Gail Nettles and Kitty Ainsworth
Hermit the crab
Had a cute little home,
He carried onhis back
Wherever he did roam.
But one day he woke up
And his home was too small,
So he had to go shopping
In the underwater mall.
He found an empty shell
That comfortably would fit.
He moved right in, his new home was a hit!