Rotting logs

My eleven 5th graders and I noticed a lot of shelf fungi growing on all the dead trees, which lead into a discussion (and a song) about dead logs, decomposers and why they're good for the forest. Where only about 5 percent of a live tree might actually be made up of living cells, as much as 20 percent of the weight of a rotting log can be composed of living tissue!

As we continued down the trails, we stumbled upon a dead log and started dissecting it. We found lots of soggy lignin, worms, larvae, spiders, termites, and even slime mold! Perfect teachable moment.

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