Molds, Mushrooms, and Other Fungi

January 20, 2010

Molds, Mushrooms, and Other Fungi

By Steve Parker

Compass Points Books, 2010

ISBN #978-0756542238

Grades 4-7


     “The world is full of living things, from tiny bugs and delicate flowers to giiant trees, huge elephants, and massive whales. But nothing lives forever. Eventually all plants, animals, and other forms of life die. But what happens to them?

     The answer: They become food for fungi. This kingdom of living things includes mushrooms, toadstools, molds, mildews, yeasts, and many others. Fungi are nature’s recyclers.”

     This upper elementary-middle school level book, presented in a picture book format, defines and discusses the Kingdom Fungi. It begins with an explanation of cells, including the fact that fungi are eukaryotic, and goes on to detail the life processes of the variety of fungi that exist. Places of growth, the below the ground decomposing structures, and the helpful and harmful aspects of fungi complete the book.

     The information is broken into sections interspersed with large, fascinating photos of fungi, parts, and their effects. The back matter includes a classification of life table, fungi classification, a glossary, further resources section, and an index. Chock full of facts, my only quibble with the book is that it comes off a bit crowded. The information, however, is excellent and it’s good to see a quality book with some depth on a lesser studied group of organisms put into an interesting read.

Activity 1

Research yeast and find out how it makes bread rise. Look up Louis Pasteur and read about his early experiments with fermentation to find out how yeast is involved in his experiments that lead to the Germ Theory.

Activity 2

Explain how fungi and their hyphae play a role in the food chain and food web.

Activity 3

Look up the symbiotic relationship that exists in lichens.

Activity 4

Design an experiment that has to do with where molds grow well and what might inhibit their growth. Use the scientific method and write up the experiment. Conduct the experiment and then make your conclusions.

Great information for more details.

This site makes fungi about as fun as you can make it! 

Take a look at these fabulous mushroom pictures.

National Science Standard: structure and function in living systems; diversity and adaptations of living organisms

Book provided by publisher.


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