Have you ever wondered what happens to all the leaves falling off the trees in the forest? (Hint, no one's out there raking them up...) Why have our parents and teachers always told us never to touch mushrooms? Did you know that one species of mushroom can withstand heat and actually allowed our early cavemen ancestors to become nomads because they could transport their fires in this mushroom?! Come along on a mushroom adventure to learn about this super FUN(gi) forest organism!
- Where have you seen mushrooms growing?
- What do you think of when you see [mushrooms]?
- What questions do you have about mushrooms?
Wrapping your mind around the “Mycelium” can be kind of hard, especially because it’s underground and we can’t see it! It can be helpful to compare new vocabulary to something you already know. Think about an apple tree. How does that apple tree reproduce and grow a new apple tree?
Right, fruit trees produce fruit that has seeds in it. When an animal eats that fruit and poops out its seeds, bam--new tree! Pine trees are similar with their pinecones. Consider the Mycelium like the “tree” of a mushroom, and the mushroom itself like the fruit it produces to spread its “seed!” (spores! ;))
How do mushrooms age?
Where can I find mushrooms?
Watch some final words from Mycelium Irwin to answer these questions!"
Go Forage Students!!! Take your Nature Journal with you and draw at least 1 picture of a mushroom you find! Challenge yourself and see if you can label its anatomy.
If you were unable to find any mushrooms or get quality spore prints, check out these mushroom photos and spore prints . You can observe a variety of species and use them in the AI Identification Tool, by screenshotting photos you like to save locally on your computer for upload.
- What is the most interesting thing you learned from this lesson about mycology?
- Describe in your own words how mushrooms help the forest ecosystem.
- What is 1 thing you’re still wondering about mushrooms?