Monday, November 5, 2012

Mushroom Unit Study

Fall is such a beautiful time of year here... as it is in MANY places! It is one of our most treasured times.
Our walks are so much more beautiful with the leaves falling. One thing my kinders look forward to are spotting the mushrooms that grow around here.   Last season, we took pictures of mushrooms every-time we saw them, then we made a little laminated mushroom catalog and took it along with us when we went out. 

This year, we went a little deeper in our Mushroom Study! 

The Kinder's each have their own digital camera (my old ones) and they take pictures now whenever they go on walks. I like this because it helps them become more involved in our study, and it's really neat to see what they choose to photograph. At this point they are still SO excited as they find mushrooms! KT still insists that I come and see each and every one she finds. ..=) 

                                                 Here are a few from our walk last week....

This is a Puff Ball Mushroom. They are edible before they turn this color... The kids do enjoy smashing these... lots of spores fly out!

These are Umbrella Mushrooms- They are very poisonous. 

Last week I hosted an "Introduction to Mushrooms" walk for our local First Class Home school Group.
We had a great turn out in spite of the many rainy days! And The Lord blessed us by holding the rain till the end!

Each child received a Scavenger Hunt card with 10 mushrooms found in the same woods we were headed to. 
Each mushroom had it's name along with the German name for it.
 The kids had a BLAST 

Here are all the mushrooms collected that afternoon! 

When we were done, our friend hosted ALL of us in her home right down the street for some hot cider!

 Here we had a display of Mushroom Fun & Facts! 
  • Mushrooms we CAN eat - a little taste testing (portabello, oyster, and button)
  • Mushroom Diagram- from enchanted learning ( we also handed these out to each student to take home)
  • Mushroom Fact Sheet for each family to take home
  • Spore prints the kinders and I made last week 
  • Mushroom poem which my friend read to everyone

  After telling the kids all afternoon not to eat any we found, some of them DID try these raw ones, and most of them did not care for them. =) Better cooked is what I say!

The Kinders and I made spore prints Before our outing so we could share this experiment with everyone.
It's VERY Easy to do!

I framed it so it wouldn't get ruined in transport. Out of 8 Mushrooms these are the ones that left their print.
The one on the bottom right is white... Use black card stock and white to see the differant colors when you make one!
 All we did was cut off the mushroom caps, lay them face down on paper, and covered each one with a glass jar or bowl overnight. I did this outside in our patio! I wasn't to keen on having poisonous mushrooms in the house. =) I used regular printer paper. I should have used Card Stock. It still worked but the paper did naturally wrinkle a bit from the moisture of the mushroom. Why cover with glass? This keeps the moisture in and the spores from floating around your area...

The tiny ones did not work. =(  The largest ones were great! and one medium lavender one gaves us the pure white spore print. 

Giving them time to search on their own, is wonderful for them. Make sure you allow a good hour for these walks...

                                                    Here is our Mushroom Diagram.
                      I  just cut it out, colored it in, and glued it to card stock for the Kinders to see...

                                 Outside your Window : A First book of Nature by Nicola Davies

This beautiful and LARGE book we borrowed from the library had a wonderful and fitting poem on Fungi.
I highly recommend this book for your Nature shelf! Beautiful artwork...

The Kinders painted little mushrooms onto Rocks as a keepsake for all the kinders that came on the special outing so they could remember their day! 

We used river rocks from the craft store, and sharpie paint markers. (these worked much better th an the Elmer paint markers I started with.  It took some time to dry, and they did it in processes, but it was worth it! 

Some other Fun Mushroom Facts we shared: 

Mycology (German Mykologen) is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi.
People who study all about Mushrooms are called Mycologists.

·         Germans love their mushrooms, consuming the most mushrooms per capita than any other country in the world .
·         Mushrooms have no chlorophyll (a green pigment in plants), so they don’t need sunshine to grow and thirve
German Mushroom hunting Phrases
·         Kann man das essen? = Can you eat that?
Das ist giftig. = That's poisonous.
Das ist tödlich. = That's deadly.

Common Mushroom Names in German:

List of poisonous mushrooms and photos in Germany
More Mushroom Facts

Thank you visiting! 
I hope you have a chance this fall to get out and learn about God's amazing creation! 

5 Thoughtful Comments:

kourtney said...

Wow I didn't know you could make prints with the mushroom spores like that! Awesome! We don't get any wild mushrooms here :(, but I'll try it with whatever I can find at the grocery store. I love all things mushroom! Thanks for the idea!

Hopeful Holly said...

Wow, Thank you so much!! I have been wondering about the mushrooms and have begun to learn a little. This all looks like great fun, we will have to try it next year. I will share the blog with our hs group here!!

Hopeful Holly said...

Wow, Thank you so much!! I have been wondering about the mushrooms and have begun to learn a little. This all looks like great fun, we will have to try it next year. I will share the blog with our hs group here!!

SurvivorBlessing said...

LOVE the mushroom prints! So cool.

I remember as a child in Germany, we would go pick mushrooms all the time. One of the female adults would cook them afterwards and it was always delicious. It strikes me as odd that I would remember how good it was because usually, kids are not crazy about mushrooms - at least it has been my experience so far....

Valerie said...

What a great Mushroom study! I love that you did a scavenger hunt, I bet that was a blast.



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