Module I Resources

We’ve organized all the clips and handouts by modules to make it easy for you!



Handout One: Mushroom Observations
Handout Two: Anatomy of a Mushroom
Handout Three: Lifecylce of a Mushroom

The “Wood Wide Web” of Mycelia

“Almost everyone knows about the computer internet.
The mycelium shares the same network design.”

Paul Stamets, Fantastic Fungi
In this lesson students will learn about mycelium, explore the world of mycelium including mycorrhizal networks and mycelial intelligence, and reflect upon the importance of mycelia within the natural world.
What is mycelium? What are mycorrhizal networks? What is mycelial intelligence? How does learning about mycelia networks reflect cooperation rather than competition?
  • If possible, bring in a decomposing log with some soil, or if possible, take students outside and turn over a log. Alternatively, use the beautiful still images of mycelium (see assembled powerpoint) from Louie Swartzberg
  • Whole, fresh mushrooms of several types, preferably with gills under the cap for spore prints, such as portobello or shiitake mushrooms. *If possible, take students outside to find their own mushrooms. Be careful not to eat unidentified mushrooms. Otherwise, choose several types of whole mushrooms from a supermarket.
  • Working Glossary of Fungi Terms
  • Copies of the article “Mycelium: The Source of Life” by Suzanne Simard (PDF included)
  • On the intelligence of nature and how trees “talk” to each other: Access to Suzanne Simard TED Talk, “How Trees Talk to Each Other” Access to Radiolab podcast “From Tree to Shining Tree”

Plants, Animals, and Fungi

From these extinction events, there’s one lesson. Those organisms that paired with fungi survived. We are more closely related to Fungi than we are to any other kingdom. What this means is that we are descendants of mycelium. Mycelium is the mother of us all.”

Paul Stamets, Fantastic Fungi
In this lesson students will reflect on the characteristics that identify organisms into classifications and learn about those that distinguish the kingdom of Fungi. Students will apply that understanding to analyze the evolutionary and interdependent relationships between Fungi, Animalia, and Plantae.
What defines the kingdom of Fungi?
What are the evolutionary relationships between plants, animals, and fungi?
  • Equipment to show “Mycelium is the Mother of Us All” film clip from Fantastic Fungi (educational version): 13:50 – 16:23
  • Handout One: Facts About the Fungus Among Us
  • Access to suggested research articles and/or websites
  • Copy Handout One: Anatomy of a Mushroom, and Handout Two: Mushroom Observations


Day One: Introduction

Exercise: Testing testing