How to Make a Spore Print

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity (p.25 of PDF), learners investigate spores. Mushrooms produce millions of spores which are equivalent to the seeds of plants but without the massive food reserves. Spores are so small that you normally need a microscope to seem them, but with spore prints thousands of spores are all seen together. Use this activity to talk about biodiversity by comparing spore prints from different mushrooms.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • A mushroom
  • A sheet of white paper
  • A sheet of black paper
  • A jam jar or similar container
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hair spray (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Protists and Fungi
    • Ecology

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Assinder, Sue ; Rutter, Gordon


  • All rights reserved, British Mycological Society and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, 2002

Funding Sources:

  • British Mycological Society
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council