In this section, you will learn about two kingdoms of living things, fungi and protists. We will start with fungi, discussing things such as body structure, methods of eating, methods of reproduction, and impact on other living things. We will then move on to protists, talking about the major types of protists as well as the role they serve.

All of this is important because fungi and protists are absolutely critical for the survival of other organisms. Without these living things, soil would be unusable and we would not have made many of the advances we have made in medicine, industry, and food production. Understanding these fascinating organisms will help us understand the crucial role they play in our lives.

Scientific Concepts:

  • Several examples of fungi
  • The parts of fungi, and what they do
  • Ways fungi can be helpful or harmful
  • Examples of symbiosis in fungi
  • How fungi reproduce
  • Why protists are considered a “junk drawer” kingdom
  • The major way of classifying protists
  • Ways protists move
  • Ways protists reproduce

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How to Grow Mushrooms
If you have ever seen mold growing on an old loaf of bread or eaten a mushroom, you have encountered a fungus. Fungi (that’s the plural of fungus) are a group of organisms, or living things, that are all around us. Mold on bread and mushrooms on pizza are both examples of fungi. Fungi have …
Amoeba in Action
If your kitchen is like most kitchens, you probably have cabinets for cups and pots and pans, along with drawers for silverware and cooking utensils.  You might also have a drawer you call the “junk drawer.”  The things in this drawer aren’t actually “junk.”  If they were, you’d throw them away.  Instead, things usually get …
Real Slime: Orange Bacteria
This type of slime Physarum Polycephalum is called the “many-headed slime”. This slime likes shady, cool, moist areas like you’d find in decaying logs and branches. Slime (or slime mold) is a word used to define protists that use spores to reproduce. (Note: Slime used to be classified as fungi.) Real slime lives on microorganisms …
Yeast, Mold, and More!
Fungi and protists, including mold, moss, yeast, and mushrooms, are found all around us. One common group of fungi is mold. Mold, like all fungi, are heterotrophs, which means they rely on other living things for their energy. This is different than an autotroph like a plant, which gets its energy from the sun. Mold …