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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fungus amongus

How the "mushroom cloud" got its name?

An after-dinner walk led to the discovery of some ginormous mushrooms standing guard alongside our neighborhood nature trail. I'm learning to bring my camera along on our outings--we always find something interesting, and I was happy that these photos turned out since it was getting dark.

Now, as a homeschool mom, I'm always thinking of how I can extend my kids' learning, but I also listen to them and their interests before becoming "teacherzilla." They are all very inquisitive, and they usually want to find out more about something. I don't know if it's a boy thing, a homeschooler thing, or simply my kids, but they tend to go full-force, gung-ho into something when they are interested in it, wanting to know everything there is to know. 

Sometimes, a mushroom is just a mushroom...

But, sometimes a discovery can lead to a lesson or a whole unit study.  Our Handbook of Nature Study and collection of field guides are usually the first things I turn to when we want to explore something further. Then I will search the internet for resources such as this mushroom workbook. We may even plan a trip to the library to find more information. 

We love to do art projects such as this spore prints activity (super fun, and easy enough for my youngest to do, but we did it with smaller mushrooms found around our yard,) and we'll definitely draw pictures in our nature journals. We might even make mushroom sculptures out of dough.

If we have a book that includes the topic at hand, we will add it to our stack for read-aloud time, such as this one:

We may even write stories about an imaginary miniature world living under the mushrooms, or poems, or a list of facts we've learned.  We'll talk about having respect for nature and being careful not to knock the mushrooms over when we look closer, so that others can enjoy discovering them too.

And to top it all off, we might go to the grocery store, choose some interesting mushrooms to try, and make a fabulous mushroom pizza.

But sometimes, a mushroom is just a mushroom.


Lori @ Beneath the Rowan Tree said...

I love everything about this post!

Would you be willing to share this at our Weekly Playdate (a kid and family themed link party)? This week's edition is here: http://beneaththerowantree.blogspot.com/2011/07/playdate-link-party-blog-hop-16-all.html

Come & Play :: Playdate

Mama Pea Pod said...

Thanks for linking up to Outdoor Play again last week! Looking forward to seeing you again at this week's blog hop! Will be up tomorrow.

Alissa said...

Good to find your blog! I'm visiting from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Diva's blog hop. It's funny as homeschoolers how EVERYTHING is like this as far as presenting a jumping off point. I have to really watch the boys to find out when a mushroom is just a mushroom and when it's something to delve into deeper :)

Roses - Mama Magic said...

Love the post! Thanks for posting on the book too coz it (mushroom curiosity) is coming soon in our backyard. I better be prepared!

Aimee from Classified: Mom said...

Awesome post! So much to learn- Thanks for sharing your idea with us on The Sunday Showcase !