FOSS California Edition ©2007
Animals Two by Two
Provides young students with close and personal interaction with some common land and water animals. Appropriate classroom habitats are established, and students learn to care for the animals. In four investigations the animals are studied in pairs. Students observe and care for one animal over time, and then they are introduced to another animal similar to the first but with differences in structure and behavior. The firsthand experiences are enriched with close-up photos of animals, some related to animals that students have observed in class and some animals that are new. This process enhances observation, communication, and comparison.
The giant sequoia is the most massive living organism on Earth. It is a tree, magnificent in dimension and awe inspiring in its longevity and durability. To stand in the company of such giants is to experience the scale of life.
To a kindergartner the oak on the corner, the pines at the park, and the mulberry trees at school are giants. Systematic investigation of trees over the seasons will bring students to a better understanding of trees’ place at school and in the community. Students will observe changes in weather day to day, over the year, and the impact weather has on living things. Students will have some solid experiences to help them know plants and their place on Earth.
Wood and Paper
The modern world is a wonderland of different materials for early-childhood students. Two of those materials are wood and the paper that is derived from it. Scores of different kinds of wood and paper fill students’ environment. In the Wood and Paper Module students are introduced to a wide variety of woods and papers in a systematic way. They observe the properties of these materials and discover what happens when they subject them to a number of tests and interactions with other materials. Students learn that wood and paper can be recycled to create new forms of paper or wood that have new properties. Finally, they use what they know about the properties of these marvelous materials as they change wood and paper into a variety of products. Throughout the module, students have many opportunities to make comparisons between different kinds of wood, different types of paper, and wood and paper. The concept of trees as natural resources is Introduced, and students become aware of the need to conserve and reuse natural resources.
Air and Weather
The Air and Weather Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in physical and earth science. The investigations allow young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe properties of air and to measure and monitor change in the weather from day to day and over the seasons.
Plants and Animals
Provides experiences that heighten young students’ awareness of the different ways that plants and animals meet their needs. Students care for plants to learn what they need to grow and develop. They observe the structures of plants and discover ways to propagate new plants from mature plants (from seeds, bulbs, roots, and stem cuttings). They observe and describe changes that occur as plants grow, and organize their observations on a calendar and in a notebook. They build a terrarium and provide for the needs of both plants and animals living together in a classroom habitat. They read about and view photographs and videos of plants and animals living in different habitats.
Solids and Liquids
Provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the physical world. Matter with which we interact exists in three fundamental states: solid, liquid, and gas. In this module first graders have introductory experiences with two of these states, solid and liquid.
Balance and Motion
We live in a dynamic world where everything is in motion, or so it seems. But not everything is moving the same way. Some things move from one place to another. Other things go around and around in a rotational motion. Still other things are stationary, stable for a time, balanced on a thin line between stop and go. These are the global phenomena that students experience in the Balance and Motion Module.
Insects and Plants
Provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the living world. They come to know firsthand the life sequences of a number of insects. Four investigations introduce an insect and students observe structures and behaviors, discuss their findings, and record observations over time. Students see the life cycle of insects unfold and compare the stages of metamorphosis exhibited by each species. At the same time, students grow a plant from seeds and observe brassica go through its life cycle to produce new seeds. Students relate these firsthand experiences to information they gather from reading about life cycles of other plants and animals.
Pebbles, Sand, and Silt
The Pebbles, Sand, and Silt module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide experiences that heighten students’ awareness of rocks as earth materials and natural resources. They will come to know rocks by many names and in a variety of sizes. Pebbles and sand are the same material—just different in size.
Matter and Energy
The Matter and Energy Module consists of four sequential investigations to introduce the multiple forms that matter and energy can take and to give students experience with the transfer of energy from one form to another. Light absorption and reflection is the focus of an entire investigation. Students also conduct and observe chemical reactions and are introduced to atoms and elements.
Structures of Life
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.
Sun, Moon, and Stars
The Sun, Moon, and Stars Module consists of three sequential investigations, each designed to introduce students to objects we see in the sky. Through outdoor observations made during the day and at night, active simulations, readings, videos, and discussions, students study the Sun, Moon, and stars to learn that these objects move in regular and predictable patterns that can be observed, recorded, and analyzed.
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.
Magnetism and Electricity
The Magnetism and Electricity Module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in physical science. Students experience magnetism and electricity as related effects and learn useful applications of magnetism and electricity in everyday life.
The Solid Earth Module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide students with firsthand experiences with rocks and minerals, and modeling experiences to study changes to rocks and minerals at Earth’s surface.
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.
Mixtures and Solutions
Chemistry is the study of the structure of matter and the changes or transformations that take place in it. Learning about the makeup of substances gives us knowledge about how things go together and how they can be taken apart. Learning about changes in substances is important for several reasons: changes can be controlled to produce new materials; changes can give off energy to run machines. The Mixtures and Solutions Module has four investigations that introduce students to these fundamental ideas in chemistry.
The Water Planet Module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in earth science. The investigations start with Earth in the solar system, and then focus on the dynamics of weather and water cycling in Earth’s atmosphere.