Oldy Moldy

Contributor: Jennifer Forrester. Lesson ID: 12033

Fuzz is cute on kittens and peaches, but not on your sandwich, apple, or meat loaf! Imagine being injected with it! Discover how helpful mold, or at least a popular byproduct, can help cure diseases!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


When it comes to something as exciting as the subject of mold, you might as well jump right into it!

Watch this Lomonosov Moscow State University Mold Time Lapse video to begin your learning adventure as a scientist studying the microscopic world of mold:

  • Have you ever gone to make a sandwich and found that your bread has a fuzzy black or green substance growing on it?

This is mold.

  • Where did the mold come from?
  • How did it get inside the bag of sealed bread?
  • Can you still eat the moldy bread or will it make you sick?

In this lesson, you will:

  1. complete an experiment to understand how mold grows and spreads.
  2. learn how mold is used in medicine(s).
  3. discover which scientist(s) led the way in figuring out not only that you could, but also how to, use mold in medicine.

Materials you will need:

  • 3 pieces of bread
  • 6 resealable bags (3 for the first experiment and 3 for the second experiment)
  • 3 pieces of a "new" food item
  • any materials needed for the "new growing conditions" in the Got It? section
  • permanent marker
  • pencil and paper

The Experiment (total time needed to complete experiment = approximately five days)

  1. Take out the three resealable plastic bags. Using a marker, label each of the three bags as follows: (a) sunny bag, (b) dark bag, and (c) cold bag.
  2. Put one piece of bread in each of the bags. Place the bag marked "sunny bag" in a sunny area. Place the bag marked "dark bag" in a dark area. Place the bag marked "cold bag" in the refrigerator.
  3. While you wait for the results (this could take up to five days), work with your parent or teacher to develop a hypothesis (an educated guess) as to what will happen to each bag of bread.
  4. Think about where mold grows naturally.
    • What conditions do you and your parent or teacher think are important for mold growth in nature?
    • Where have you seen mold before?
    • Are you allergic to mold?

Use this website, Basic Facts about Mold and Dampness, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to answer these and any other questions you may have about mold.

  1. Check each bag daily and record (write and draw) any changes you see.
  2. Compare the results with your hypothesis, using the Mold Data Recording Sheet found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

When you are satisfied with your results, continue on to the Got It? section for another experiment!

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