Sylphie's Squizzes: Mighty Mycelium

article by Zoë Disher , photo by Alamy

Learning intentions: 

I am learning to develop creative ideas from evidence-based information so that I can strengthen my research and creative planning skills. 


Success criteria: 

  • I can use information in a non-fiction text to inspire and develop my own ideas. 
  • I can justify my ideas using research I have conducted. 
  • I can answer relevant questions to create a design proposal for my product idea. 


Essential knowledge: 

More information about using reliable information for research can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Authority. 


After reading the article, ask students what makes mycelium such a great product to use as an alternative to traditional materials. Answers may include: 

  • It is strong and light 
  • It is fully compostable 
  • It creates zero pollution 
  • It is water resistant 
  • It is fireproof 

View the video Ecovative: Growing Sustainable Products From Mushroom Mycelium To Save The Planet. Discuss the various products demonstrated in the video that have the potential to be made from mycelium. This may include shoes, desk chairs, food, and car seats. 

Explain to the students that they are going to write a brief proposal to make a product of their choosing from mycelium. They should conduct research into the kind of materials and products being created from mycelium first to understand its uses and capabilities. They should start by reading information about the way mycelium products are being manufactured by different companies, such as: 

Students should be free to use this information to inspire their own ideas. For example, by reading about the way mycelium is used as a leather alternative for making bags and clothing, they may produce a different product that is traditionally leather, such as a guitar case.  

Their proposals should answer the following questions: 

  • What traditional material/s is mycelium replacing in your product? (e.g., foam, plastic, leather, other animal products) 
  • Why is mycelium a better alternative? (e.g., quicker to produce, less wastage in production process, compostable) 
  • Who will your product appeal to? (e.g., musicians, beauty consultants, people interested in ethical fashion, families building a new home) 

Students should also draw a sketch of their proposed product and label it (e.g., mycelium material, metal zip, embroidered cotton logo). 

Once completed, students should present their ideas to the class and justify their design and manufacturing choices.