Unit 3 – Kingdoms of Life – Lesson 4 – Fungi
I’m so excited that you are ready to learn all about Fungi with this fantastic science experiment that your children will love. The Kingdoms of Life are Animalia, Plantae, Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, Protista, and Fungi. While Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, and Protista are crucial to survival on Earth, they do not come up in Environmental Science at the elementary level. If there is a high demand for a lesson on these three microscopic kingdoms, I will absolutely create another lesson plan. Fungi do come up enough in environmental science to write a lesson plan on it. So let´s get started!
Can anybody guess if fungi an animal or a plant? Neither! Fungi has both animal and plant characteristics. One of the coolest things about fungi is that it can make its own food. What? How? While plants and animals use internal processes to break down and digest food, fungi break down material outside of its body by releasing chemicals. The fungi then absorbs the material. In science, we call most fungi fruiting bodies. The reason behind this is because while we may not be able to see it, fungi often have long intertangled webs of roots underneath. When you see fungi, you only see the surface of the fungi (or the body).
Did you also know that we can actually grow Fungi ourselves? Grab a clear plastic baggie, spray the plastic baggie with water, put a slice of bread inside the bag. Write the date you started and everyday check on the bag. Record in your science journal how long it took your bread to mold. My bread took until day 11 to mold!
This activity will be our first activity that the results will not see in one session. Instead, we are going to watch the fungi grow over time.
- Slice of bread
- Clear Plastic Baggie
- Science Journal
- Permanent Marker
- Read the top section of this post out loud for or with students.
- Have students start a new page in their science journals labeled “FUNGI.”
- Have students write three interesting facts about Fungi on the page.
- Take a piece of bread and stick it inside a plastic baggie with small droplets of water on the inside. To get these droplets of water, you can fill the baggie with water beforehand and dump it out or spray it with a spray bottle.
- Label the baggie with the child’s name and date (optional)
- Have students write down what they observe with their eyes on Day 1. Please continue to have students write down what they observe with their eyes changing on the bread every two days.
- Continue this experiment for up to three weeks, but no shorter than one.