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by Tish Taylor

I read this story to my students just as I am about to begin teaching about the Fungi. All that I tell them is to listen very carefully because I want them to help me come up with a name for the story. Then I read the story and we talk about the various names and I finally tell them the real name of the story: "There's a Fungus Among Us." Then I ask them to see if they can name all of the fungi mentioned in the story. Most can name at least 5 fungi, but discussing them all briefly has been a fun way to begin this topic.

Pierre and Yvette came from France to visit their awkward American cousin, Nerdella. One day they all went for a picnic. Pierre had packed a yeasty French bread, covered with robust smelling Camembert cheese and sliced truffles. Cousin Yvette had a slice of yummy mushroom quiche. Nerdella opened her old, mildew-covered lunchbox, that she had packed a least a week ago, only to discover black mold growing on the bread of her sandwich. A container of apple juice now tasted very strange. She was so hungry that she ignored the itching between her toes, caused by chronic athlete's foot, and proceeded to look for food. She found a patch of mushrooms and popped one into her mouth before she could hear cousin Pierre's warning, "No! Don't eat that!" Not even masses of penicillin could save poor Nerdella.

There's a Fungus Among Us

Identify the 10 fungi mentioned in the story:
  1. yeast in bread
  2. truffles
  3. Camembert cheese
  4. athlete's foot
  5. mildew
  6. edible mushrooms
  7. bread mold
  8. yeast in apple juice
  9. wild mushrooms
  10. penicillin

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