FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Environments (CA Ed.)


The study of the relationships between one organism and its environment builds knowledge of all organisms. With this knowledge comes an awareness of limits. Such knowledge is important because humans can change environments. To do so without awareness of possible consequences can lead to disasters because all living things depend on the conditions in their environment. The Environments Module consists of five investigations that focus on the concepts that all organisms need energy and matter to live and grow and living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for their survival.


  • Develop an attitude of respect and understanding for life.
  • Gain experience with the major environmental components (living and nonliving) in terrestrial and aquatic systems.
  • Conduct experiments with plants to determine ranges of tolerance.
  • Determine an organism's optimum conditions and environmental preferences.
  • Organize and analyze data from experiments and investigations with plants and animals.
  • Observe and describe changes in complex systems over time and interpret those observations.
  • Relate laboratory studies to natural systems where in any particular environment some kinds of plants and animals survive well and others survive less well or not at all.
  • Explain the feeding relationships in a number of ecosystems through food chains and food webs describing the roles of producers and consumers (herbivores, carnivores, and decomposers).
  • Describe how organisms can compete for resources in an ecosystem.
  • Apply measurement in the context of science investigations.
  • Develop questions and perform scientific investigations to test predictions and draw conclusions.

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

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