FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Structures of Life (2nd Ed.)


The Structures of Life Module consists of four sequential investigations dealing with observable characteristics of organisms. Students observe, compare, categorize, and care for a selection of organisms, and in so doing they learn to identify properties of plants and animals and to sort and group organisms on the basis of observable properties. Students investigate structures of the organisms and learn how some of the structures function in growth and survival.


  • Develop an attitude of respect for life.
  • Gain experience with organisms, both plants and animals.
  • Observe and compare properties of seeds and fruits.
  • Investigate the effect of water on seeds.
  • Observe, describe, and record properties of germinated seeds.
  • Compare different kinds of germinated seeds.
  • Grow plants hydroponically and observe the life cycle of a bean plant.
  • Observe and record crayfish and land snail structures and behavior.
  • Use knowledge of crayfish and snail life requirements to maintain the organisms in the classroom.
  • Organize data about crayfish territorial behavior.
  • Develop responsibility for the care of organisms.
  • Exercise language, art, social studies, and math skills in the context of life science.
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations: observing, communicating, comparing, and organizing.

For a description of each investigation in the Structures of Life Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Module Overview PDF.

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