Outdoor Hour Challenge #43 Molds, Puffballs, and Morels

As we finish up our mini focus on flowerless plants, I need to say that I have personally learned more than I ever anticipated. I hope that you have learned something too or that you are better prepared to study flowerless plants as you will eventually come into contact with them in the near future. At the very least, I hope that you have gained confidence in knowing a few facts, gleaned from the Handbook of Nature Study.

Edit to Add: Here is a link to another post with additional ideas to get you started with growing molds: Additional Help with Challenge 43 Outdoor Hour Challenge #43 Molds, Puffballs, and Morels

1. Read pages 727-729 in the Handbook of Nature Study. Included in the reading are instructions for growing your own mold on bread so you will have some mold of your own to observe. I highly recommend this activity and your children will be amazed at the results. Although some might find mold repulsive, try to keep a positive outlook as you grow and then observe your very own mold.

2. Read pages 720-725 in the Handbook of Nature Study and learn about puffballs and bracket fungi. Read pages 726-727 in the Handbook of Nature Study about Morels. You can underline and highlight any sections you find in these pages that you find interesting. File away the facts until you come across some of these interesting subjects during your nature study.

3. Do your best to spend 10-15 minutes outdoors this week with your children. View this time as the opportunity to enjoy whatever you have available for nature study this week. If you find some mushrooms, ferns, moss, lichen, mold, bracket fungus, morels, or puffballs, you are equipped to observe these subjects more closely. If you have snow or ice to deal with, why not review challenge #39 on water forms and spend a few minutes talking about the water cycle?

4. After your outdoor time, spend a few minutes reviewing your outdoor experience. This step will help you identify any additional interests your children have so you can answer any questions or help identify any objects they observed outdoors. Are they curious about clouds or a bird they saw? Did you find any flowerless plants at all during your outdoor time? Use this time to follow up with the Handbook of Nature Study and don’t forget that you can look things up in the index.

5. Give an opportunity for a nature journal entry or provide a notebook page to complete together. Remember that a nature journal should be the child’s expression of something they found interesting during their outdoor time. You are helping them make a memory.


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  1. We studied puffballs with one of your challenges a LONG time ago. I have a cute video of my daughter – http://alexml.blogspot.com/2008/03/green-hour-challenge-5-list-puffballs.html.

  2. No puffballs for us but we found more mushrooms to explore as our creek rose!

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