Pre-Primary: Fungi, protists, bacteria, and viruses

The Pre-Primary science topic for the last two weeks has been Fungi and Tiny Life. Fungi are neither plants nor animals, but have characteristics of both. We introduced fungi by dissecting some grocery store mushrooms and looking at their parts: gills, stem, cap, and spores. We also planted a mushroom garden, so we can watch mushrooms develop over the next few weeks.

Tiny Life includes bacteria, viruses, and plants and animals too small to see without a microscope. At the Pre-Primary level, our goal is to introduce children to the idea that life too small to see exists. The existence of tiny life is also the answer to many of their “why” questions about the world, such as “Why do I have to wash my hands?” and “Why do we need a refrigerator?”

We’re using several models to visualize bacteria and viruses, including the Giant Microbes plushies, which have been a big hit. Students have had lots of love for our Streptococcus pyogenes (sore throat), Shigella dysenteria (stomachache), Lactobacillus bulgariae (yogurt) and Porphyromonas gingivalis (bad breath)!

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