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FOSS Pathways Living Systems Collection


The idea of a system is one of the grand integrating (crosscutting) concepts that pervades all of science. In grade 5, students look at Earth as the interaction of four Earth systems or subsystems—the geosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere. The focus of the Living Systems Module is the biosphere as students investigate ecosystems in terms of their interacting parts. Four anchor phenomena drive the investigations.

  • Anchor phenomenon 1—Changed into compost
  • Anchor phenomenon 2—Fruit from plants growing with and without soil
  • Anchor phenomenon 3—Changes in a fishing pond
  • Anchor problem 4—Migrating monarch butterfly problem

    Students think about systems on different scales—systems within an organism that move matter and provide energy to the individual organism, and feeding relationships in ecosystems that move matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Students come to understand through a variety of experiences that plants get the materials they need for growth primarily from water and air, and that energy in animals’ food was once energy from the Sun. There are opportunities for students to explore how human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life can have major effects on these systems. Students gain experiences that will contribute to the understanding of the crosscutting concepts of patterns; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; and energy and matter.


FOSS Curriculum:

  • Allows students to be active investigators instead of passive learners
  • Is built around firsthand exploration of relevant phenomena using classroom-proven theories and practices to engage all students
  • Aligned to NGSS, Framework for K to 12 Science, and Common Core standards
  • Provides unmatched professional learning, including hands-on & virtual teacher workshops

Resources available in this collection include:

  • Comprehensive hands-on equipment kits made exclusively for FOSS
  • Investigations Guide (Teacher Edition Book) core instructional hardcover spiral-bound book provides educators with the support to successfully facilitate the investigations - available in print and digital
  • Teacher Resources with educative support to effectively teach standards - available in digital
  • FOSS Science Resources book (Student Edition Book) for students to build expository reading skills and highlight STEM careers - available in print and digital
  • Accessibility options to the interactive digital resources on the ThinkLink™ platform for effective planning and engaged learning
  • Spanish teaching and learning resources – available in print and digital
Item Price
Item #: 2088593
Item #: 2088798