FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Living Systems (CA Ed.)


The Living Systems Module consists of three sequential investigations, each designed to introduce students to transport systems in multicellular organisms. Students use readings, videos, and investigations to study the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and excretory systems in humans and the vascular system in plants. They conduct and analyze controlled experiments related to these systems and to the production of food by plants.


  • Learn that the basic unit of life is the cell.
  • Learn that all cells have basic needs – water, food, gas exchange, and waste disposal.
  • Learn how materials are transported to cells in multicellular organisms.
  • Learn the structures and functions of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and excretory systems in humans.
  • Learn that vascular plants have specialized tissues (xylem and phloem tubes) for the transport of water, minerals, and sugar to cells.
  • Discover that leaves play an important role in the transport of water to cells in vascular plants.
  • Learn that green plant cells make sugar from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight, and release oxygen.
  • Learn that plant and animal cells obtain energy by breaking down sugar into carbon dioxide and water (cellular respiration).
  • Classify leaves based on venation pattern.
  • Design, conduct, and analyze the results of experiments.
  • Write scientific reports.
  • Use metric tools and make and record quantitative observations in a scientific investigation.

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

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