Plant and Animal Care

Plant and Animal Care for Structures of Life

Introduction to Life in the Classroom

In several of the FOSS modules and courses, living organisms are brought into the classroom to be cared for and observed by K-8 students. Through the direct experience with organisms provided by these modules, we hope to engender in students a sense of respect for all life and to spark a desire to understand the complex systems that support life on Earth.

The FOSS program endorses the National Science Teachers Association "Guidelines for Responsible Use of Live Animals in the Science Classroom", as they apply to elementary and middle school classrooms.

The FOSS program provides detailed information on how to obtain organisms, how to prepare for their arrival, how to care for them in the classroom, and how to instruct students to properly handle each one. The organisms in the modules were selected because they are abundant, safe for students, easy to care for, and hardy and well-adapted to classroom environments. FOSS selected organisms that were non-exotic, commonly available from local and regional suppliers, and, in some cases, found in the natural environments in many regions of the country. When investigations are carried out as described, the insects, worms, crustaceans, snails, and fish are not harmed in any way.
  • Find out where and how to obtain these organisms at Organism Source chart
  • For information on where in the module the organism is used, as well as details on quantities and Delta living organism coupons (LOC) go to Live Organism Schedule or download the schedule as a spreadsheet.
Students investigate the following animals in the Structures of Life Module. Click on any organism to find out specific information about its care.