FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Structures of Life (CA Ed.)


The Structures of Life Module consists of four 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.


  • Observe and compare properties of seeds and fruits.
  • Investigate the effect of water on seeds.
  • Observe, describe, and record structures of germinated seeds and learn their functions for the growing plant.
  • Compare different kinds of germinated seeds.
  • Grow plants hydroponically and observe the life cycle of a bean plant focusing on structures and functions.
  • Observe and record crayfish and land snail structural and behavioral adaptations.
  • Use knowledge of crayfish and snail life requirements to maintain the organisms in the classroom.
  • Organize data about crayfish territorial behavior.
  • Become familiar with the diversity of organisms in different environments in terms of their structural and behavioral adaptations.
  • Discuss what can happen to organisms when the environment changes (some survive, some die, some move).
  • Know examples of how living things change their environment and how these changes can be detrimental or beneficial to organisms.
  • Know examples of extinct animals; know examples of animals alive today that resemble extinct animals.
  • Collect, organize, and analyze data from life science investigations to build explanations.

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.

To view the PDF version of the module summary, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in. Acrobat Reader is available free from Adobe.

©2007 UC Regents