Where do fallen leaves go?
Lesson 3 image
Where do fallen leaves go?
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DISCUSS (1 of 2):

Where do you think all the leaves go?

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

What could you do to find out?

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DISCUSS:

What do you think is happening in the photo below?

Where do you think the stuff growing on the fruit comes from? rotting lemons

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DISCUSS:

Imagine you were going camping for two weeks without a refrigerator and you wanted to bring some sliced oranges.

What might you do to keep the oranges from decomposing?

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Image & Video Credits

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Exploration
leaves on cement by Kichigin
walking through leaves by Suzanne Tucker
kid playing in leaves by Chris Nolan , used under CC BY
wintery road by David Merrigan , used under CC BY
spring/green road by artens
bag of leaves by MiVa
leaves by Albert Bridge , used under CC BY-SA
walking on log-leaves by unsplash
leaf decomposition by Josh Williams
fungus mycelium by Kris H. Light
second log flip by Sergei A. Polozov
growing mycelium by franchise films
mushroom time lapse by OddScience
mushroom time lapse 2 by franchise films
fungi mycelium on wood by chanus
hands dug into work by 13Imagery
decomposition by StopWaste
Russula by Jerzy Opioła , used under CC BY-SA
cinnabar-red chanterelle by Jake Stookey
red capped mushrooms by Gemini78
yellow & white capped mushrooms by Kurt Bauschardt , used under CC BY-SA
mushroom by Mary Smiley , used under CC BY-SA
white mushroom by arhendrix
orange mushrooms by Mushroom Observer , used under CC BY-SA
Cordyceps_locustiphila_Henn by Mushroom Observer , used under CC BY-SA
mycelium growing more by Jerzy Opioła , used under CC BY-SA
trees broken up by shore by skeeze , used under Public Domain
man hiking by Poprotskiy Alexey
mushrooms growing outside complex by Vasile Cotovanu , used under CC BY-SA
forest floor by Alessandro Colle
pinic table lunch by adriaticfoto
moldy bread by Taborsky
moldy strawberries by rsooll
mycelium on potato by Telia
mycelium in orange substance by Irina Kozorog
moldy orange by Irina Mos
mushroom cap by Aleksey Gnilenkov
casual living room by Wonderlane
berry decomposition by webiocosm
compost bin by Evan Lorne
inside of compost bin by BMJ
woman inside grocery store by Adam Melnyk
moldy tomatoes by Comrade Foot
inside of fridge by thodonal88
camping- tent by Milaniphotography
Activity
black electric heater by ronstik
hands by photka
pencil by JohannPoufPouf
hands up by Rawpixel.com
Other
Unit: leaf by LilKar
Unit: leaf 2 by Etakundoy
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this lesson, students discover the role fungi play in decomposing dead materials and in creating soil. In the activity, Mold Terrarium, students plan and conduct an investigation to discover the factors affecting decomposition. Students fill Ziploc bags with different types of foods and change environmental conditions to study how different variables affect mold growth. They then observe mold growth over a period of two weeks.

COVID-19 Adaptations
Digital worksheets available
Teacher demo recommended

Students at home
Set up several Mold Terrariums and demonstrate the activity over video conference. Each student needs a Mold Terrarium worksheet (printed or digital) to record their observations.
Students at school
Turn this activity into a demonstration where students participate in decision-making and make observations. Set up a control Mold Terrarium and have students vote on a few variables to test. Set up a few other Mold Terrariums with those variables changed. Each student needs a Mold Terrarium worksheet to record their observations.
No activity prep.
Extensions
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