The Mystery and Magic of Mushrooms: A Community Research Project

The Divoká Šárka forest is a short walk away from our classroom. As a class, we visit these magnificent woodlands once a week. This was a perfect opportunity for a community research project. After our first visit, we took it upon ourselves to explore more deeply a traditional Czech favorite - mushrooms. It gave us a common language to speak in these beginning weeks of school. We made our individual contributions come together in discussions, mushroom guide books and our watercolor and sculpture filled mushroom garden. The final stage was using our powers of imagination to create our own species of mushrooms. What began as a single mushroom discovery in the forest in August grew into a three month project of discovery, research and artistic endeavors. 

Through this project the children have learned :
-To record and add onto scientific research over time
-How to observe and notice details in small objects
-How to compliment and notice details in other’s work
-How to use other’s expertise to help themselves
-To share new specimens, relevant stories and photos with classmates
-How to question the unknown
-How to share their skills and abilities with others