FOSS Next Generation Insects and Plants
The Insects and Plants Module provides experiences with the life science core ideas dealing with structure and function of living things, growth and development of plants and animals, interactions of organisms with their environment, and biodiversity of organisms on land and in water.
Investigation 1: Mealworms
Each student receives two larval mealworms in a vial to care for and observe. Over 10 weeks, students observe the larvae grow, molt, pupate, and turn into beetles (adults), which mate, lay eggs, and die.
Investigation 2: Brassica Seeds
Each student plants tiny rapid-cycling brassica seeds in a planter cup. The brassica plants grow under continuous light and develop for a month. Students observe and record the complete life cycle from seed to seed. They plant seeds or transplant seedlings outdoors.
Investigation 3: Milkweed Bugs
Groups of students receive vials of milkweed bug eggs. Each group prepares a habitat for the bugs, providing air, food, water, and shelter. They observe structure, pattern, and behavior as the insects advance through simple metamorphosis. Students go outdoors to search for insects living naturally on the ground and on plants in the schoolyard.
Investigation 4: Silkworms
Students observe the life history of one of the most commercially successful insects—silkworms. They start with eggs and observe the growth and changes to larvae, pupae, and adults, which produce eggs. They search the schoolyard for evidence of plants being eaten by insects or other animals.
Investigation 5: Butterflies
The class observes painted lady larvae grow, pupate, and emerge as adult butterflies. Students observe the stages of complete metamorphosis and compare the behaviors of moths and butterflies. They study pollination through video clips and outdoor plant observations.