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LessonPlan:FungalLifeCycles

Timeframe:50minutes,HighSchool
Objectives:
Studentsinvestigatefungallifecycles.
Studentswritepersonaladvertisementoffungusseekingfungustoexplainunique
funguslifecycletopeers.
Preparation:
45minutesofsetuptimetopreparetheclassroom.Atleasttwolongtableswillbe
neededaswellasawhiteboardandmarkers.Handlensesshouldbeavailableand
someclassroomsareequiptedwithmicroscopes.Atleastonemushroomposter
shouldbesetupwhereyouandthestudentscanrefertoitduringthelesson.The
tablesshouldhavebooksonmushroomsdisplayedandsporeprints,both
completedandinprogress.Severalmethodsofmakingsporeprintsshouldbe
demonstratedsuchasplacingamushroomcaponanindexcard;apapercupwith
anindexcardwithaholeforthemushroomtohangthrough;aglassslidewitha
mushroomcapplacedonit.Therestofthetablesshouldbecoveredwithfungi,
samplesofmyceliumandslimemolds,freshspecimensifitismushroomseason
anddriedspecimensiffreshonesarenotavailable.Useasmuchvarietyas
possible,puffballs,deadman'sfingers,andearthstarsbeingthefavorites.
Whenthestudentsentertheroom,havethemstandaroundthetable.Theteacher
willusuallyhavegiventhemanintroductiontomushrooms.
Requiresbasicknowledgeofsexualreproduction,meiosisandsomefungal
diversity/morphology.
Makeupsixnotecards(4X6)withdescriptionofeachtypeoffunguslifecycle
ononeside.
Revieweachlifecycleinordertoexplaindetailstostudentsifnecessary.
Content:
Fungihavediversereproductivestrategies.
Seeattachedappendicesoffungallifecycles
Methods:
0:5minutes
Discussbasicfungallifecycles.
5minutes
Introduceassignmenttomakeapersonaladvertisementforaspeciesoffungusby
providingexampleofasexualyeastCandidaalbicans.Itshouldbeclearthattheaimis
toexplainthelifecycleinasmuchdetailaspossibleinthepersonaladvertisement.

10minutes
Studentsdivideintogroupsof23todecipherthelife
cycleonthecardwithwhichtheyareprovided.Internet
resourcesmayalsobeused.Studentsthenproducea
personaladvertisementtopresentbeforetheirclassmates.
(Examples2and3areclearlylessdifficultandthisshouldbe
consideredinthelesson)
Teacherfacilitatesgroupworkandanswersspecific
contentquestions.

Fungusseekingself:
Candidaalbicans
seekingselfforquiet
asexuallifeof
absorptionofsugarsand
aminoacidsonanimal
mucosalmembranes.
Enjoyproducing
identicalcopiesof
myselfbybuddinginto
theschmooshape.
Exponentialgrowth
capabilitiesandhuman
hostspreferred.

30minutes
Studentstaketurnspresentingandtakingnoteson
differentlifecycles.Teachercanprobeforunderstanding
andcreativehypothesesbetweenpresentationsbyasking
questionssuchas:
Whymightonefungusproduceamushroomandanotherproduceapacketof
sporesunderground?Coulddiscussdifferentdispersalneeds(formfitsfunction.)
Howmightafungus'snichefavorasexualreproductionoversexualreproduction?
Coulddiscussrateoflifecyclecompletionasafactor.Forexample,amoldmay
havelimitedtimetobreakdownsmallpatchesofnutrients(suchasanorange
peelorasliceofbread)andmustreproducewhenthechancesoffindinga
partnerarelimited.Also,adiscussionoftherelativeneedforgeneticvariationis
warrantedhere.
Higherlevelquestionsmightbe:
Whywouldfungimaintainmorethanonenucleusinacell?Doothereukaryotic
cellsdothis?Othereukaryotesdonotmaintainmorethanonenucleus.This
couldcontributetoadaptabilitybyexpressingdifferentgenomesindifferent
conditions.
Intheevolutionoffungi,doyouthinksexualreproductioncamebeforeasexual
reproduction,orviceversa?Whyorwhynot?Sexualreproductionisbillionsof
yearsolderthanthefunguskingdom.Asexualfungiarefoundingroupsthatalso
containsexualfungi.However,somemightsaythatasexualyeastsarethe
ancestorsofall"higher"fungi.
Whymightaparasiticfungusneedtwodifferenthoststocompleteitslifecycle?
45minutes
Theteacherpresentsindetailwithdiagramsacomplexlifecyclenotpresentedby
students(forexample,atwohostrust.)Ifthereisnotimeforthishere,itcanserveas
reviewandsegueforthenextclass,perhapsonfungalecology.

Assessment:
Studentsareevaluatedforqualityandthoroughnessofadvertisement,successful
presentationofmaterial.Generalideascouldbequestionsonsummativetestsorquizzes.