Today we journey to the East Coast to learn about two items you might not associate with “agriculture.” In Pennsylvania there is a fungus among us as we learn about mushrooms. And then in Rhode Island things will get very fin-teresting as we learn about their fishing industry!
Pennsylvania is the mushroom capital of the world! Mushrooms are actually part of a an organism called a fungus. The purpose of a mushroom is to produce and spread something called “spores,” which allow new fungi to grow. And lucky for us, there are lots of kinds of mushrooms that are also very tasty!
Let’s start with this read aloud, “The Fungus That Ate My School.”
Mushroom farms looks very different than what you normally think of when you imagine a “farm.” Let’s tour a huge mushroom farm in Pennsylvania. Look at all the different types of mushrooms they grow!
Learn more about mushrooms here: https://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/food/mushrooms.html
Spring is a great time to find mushrooms outside. Many people in Illinois enjoy “hunting” for spring mushrooms, such as morels. For today’s activity, use one of these craft ideas to make your own mushroom with stuff you have at home! https://planningplaytime.com/10-spring-mushroom-crafts-kids
Learn more about Pennsylvania Agriculture here! https://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/stats/pennsylvania.pdf
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation. Farmland covers only 10% of the state’s total area. But the state’s annual fish catch is worth $85 million! This is one reason Rhode Island is called The Ocean State.
Learn about Rhode Island with this encyclopedia article for kids: https://kids.kiddle.co/Rhode_Island
See how this one Rhode Island fishing family handles the daily struggles of the difficult work of commercial fishing:
Now, use colored paper from around your house and try to weave your own rainbow fish! https://www.craftymorning.com/weaving-rainbow-fish-kids-craft/
Learn more about Rhode Island Agriculture here! https://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/stats/rhodeisland.pdf
Fishermen rely on their boats to successfully fish in the ocean. Try your hand at creating your own floating boat with this fun STEM activity! https://www.kcedventures.com/blog/boats-water-fun-kids-activities-for-things-that-float
Something for Everyone
Since fish are such an important part of Rhode Island’s economy, let’s learn more about fish with this fun video:
Assessment and Extended Response
- What is another name for mushrooms? (toadstools)
- About what percentage of a mushroom is water? (90%)
- Name one thing that a mushroom farmer needs to control to grow great mushrooms (light, temperature, carbon dioxide, humidity)
*Do you eat mushrooms? What is your favorite type of mushroom? What ways do you eat mushrooms in your diet?
- Why is “trap fishing” so unpredictable? (because you have to wait for the fish to come to your traps)
- How much of Rhode Island is made up of bays and inlets? (14%-more than all the agricultural land in the state!)
*What are some things that you think would be challenging about being a commercial fisherman?