Do you like searching for mushrooms? This Fly Agaric is such a pretty mushroom, but it’s not one you would want to eat. Australia has some amazing fungi but some are deadly. While this Fly Agaric will probably not kill you, the Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) might.
I enjoy searching for mushrooms and photographing fungi, but when I want to cook, I go to the supermarket for my mushrooms. Unless you are really sure about the mushroom you have found, it is just not wise to eat it. The Fungimap website explians it this way:
“Fungimap does not encourage eating wild Australian mushrooms because so little is known about their edibility and many poisonous species are virtually indistinguishable from safe varieties.”
Above are mushrooms we spotted while out fungi hunting. Below are the mushrooms I bought to eat.
Next time you buy mushrooms, ask your children if they can find the weight on the label. What other numbers can they see? What are those numbers about?
Next, have them weigh each individual mushroom. If they add all the weights together, is their total greater than (>), less than (<), or equal (=) to the amount they saw on the label? Can they work out the average weight of the mushrooms?
In our math explorations this week, we had fun with an activity from Maths At Home. I simplified it a little, to start with, using only 4 baskets and 15 mushrooms.
In my version of the activity, I gave the children 4 baskets and 15 mushrooms. I gave them these instructions:
- Divide the mushrooms between the 4 baskets.
- Every basket must have at least one mushroom in it and no two baskets can have the same amount of mushrooms.
- How many numbers can you make by taking one or more baskets?
For example, if I placed 3, 5, 6, 1 mushrooms into my baskets, I’ll get the numbers 3, 5, 6 and 1 by taking one basket, or 8 by combining 3 and 5 and 11 by combining 5 and 6. How many numbers can you make?
- The challenge is this: can you place mushrooms in the baskets in a way that you are able to make every number from 1-15?
- If you achieve this, what did you notice?
- Can you work out what the pattern is? What number of mushrooms would be in the next basket? How many mushrooms would we need to continue the pattern?
If you would like to explore this activity further, the full activity can be found HERE.
It was so much fun watching the children work together to find out the solution and to see them make connections and links themselves.
We continued our explorations into binary code. Who would have thought that mushrooms could be a visual help in understanding how to write numbers in binary code?
Now that math is done, we are about to go on a journey with our next read-aloud: The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron. If you look carefully, you might find some math there as well!
“It’s a little hobby of mine, to paint what I can imagine of the planets according to my observations and mathematical calculations.”The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron.
If you go mushroom hunting, you might like to explore with our Fungi, Moss and Lichen Cards.
You can also find a lesson on field mushrooms in the Autumn/Winter Nature Study guide.
And don’t forget to include your nature discoveries while working towards your Nature Club Badges. There is a fungi topic to explore.