Oh, Kingdom Fungi. What an interesting bunch you are.
This kingdom has always had a mysterious ring to it, mostly because it invokes memories and thoughts of the fantastical world of gnomes, fairies, goblins, and other imaginative characters.
But on this earthly plane we can become more aware of and create a deeper sense of connection with the science behind this fascinating kingdom by exploring the anatomy of mushrooms as we did in Parts of a Flower I, II, and III.
This particular lesson is using nomenclature cards and is the first of a three part series that can be done simultaneously or on their own – in no particular order.
Objective: to learn the basic anatomy of a mushroom.
Deeper Objective: to gain a deeper understanding, awareness for, and more respect for nature by learning the anatomy of a mushroom.
1. Nomenclature cards for parts of a mushroom (see Montessori Printshop)
2. blank mushroom book pages (normally included in the purchase of downloadable nomenclature cards)
3. colored pencils
When you have everything at your rug or table, start to lay out the cards that have the picture and name (hereon called picture/name cards) of each part of the mushroom.
Match the picture cards up with the correct picture/name cards and lay them underneath their matches (some teachers prefer to lay the picture card on top of the matching picture/name card)…
…until each picture card is laid out.
Match the name cards up with the correct picture/name cards and lay them underneath their matches (or on top of the matching picture/name card). When working with much younger kids like primary to first grade ages, I’ll be more exaggerated about this and pretend as though I am thinking out loud. For example, in this first picture I am seeing if the symbols that make up this word (I jokingly add, the symbols we call letters) match the symbols that make up the other word. If they do not match I say no and move on to the next name until I find the name that matches.
When this happens I say a satisfied and happy yes and lay the name card down underneath the picture card.
Once all of the cards are matched up, take enough of the blank mushroom coloring pages to make each part of the mushroom. In this set of cards there are nine. If you do not have any completely blank pages of the same size you can always turn an extra page over to use as the cover of your book.
Use one page for each part of the mushroom and color only one anatomical feature per page. Then have the child write the name of the feature underneath the picture. Some teachers like to have the parts the same color as the cards, but I’ve played around with students trying to mimic the colors of their favorite photos of mushrooms they’ve found, even if there are stripes or spots. As long as it’s not too busy and they are coloring at their best abilities.
Write a title on the blank white page to use for your title and stack the pages together into a book. Staple, and there you have your own Parts of the Mushroom book to show off to the world!
See my next post on Parts of the Mushroom II – Felt Mushroom Puzzle.
Montessori Printshop also has parts of the mushroom nomenclature definition cards that create more of a challenge for older children. When making the booklet, the older child can write the definition on the opposite page.
The cover of the booklet can be in any format. You can always use a different colored piece of paper (perhaps to match the child’s mushroom?) and/or the child is always more than welcome to decorate the cover. I often ask that the decorations reflect the work, since little Minecraft guys can be saved for free drawing in the art area.