Lichen Looking

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In this outdoor activity, learners search for lichen, a combination of a fungus and an alga living together. Lichen grow where most other plants cannot, on rocks, the trunks of trees, logs and sand. As learners go "lichen looking", they investigate the numbers, locations and kinds of lichen in their area.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • lumps of clay (size of a golf ball)
  • flags in an envelope
  • pieces of wax paper 10 cm X 10 cm
  • felt tip pens
  • transparent tape
  • magnifying lenses or bug boxes
  • small plastic bags
  • medium plastic bags
  • plastic or wax paper band (7 cm X 150 cm)
  • pieces of string 3 meters long
  • set of Action Cards (page 5 of PDF)
  • meter tape
  • compass
  • 2 sheets of Action Cards


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Protists and Fungi
      • Classification
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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