Earth and Sun Home School Connection

Hello families:

FOSS offers a number of ways to get parents involved in their child's science education during school year 2020-21.

Letter to Families—School Year 2020–2021

Download a copy of the Letter to Families—School Year 2020–2021 PDF in English or Spanish.

Everyday Outside Challenge in English or Spanish.

Letter to Parents about the Module

Each FOSS module includes a letter to parents to tell you what your child will be doing in the investigations at school and to share ways that you can develop your child’s scientific interests at home. This will be very important during School Year 2020-21.

Download a copy of the Earth and Sun Letter to Parents about the Module PDF in English or Spanish.

Home/School Connection and Other At-Home Activities for each Investigation

We have developed a Home/School Connection for the five investigations in Earth and Sun. There are also other At-Home Activities for each investigation for use during COVID-19 school year 2020-21. These require little or no materials from home.

  • Investigation 1: The Sun
    Home School Connection—Students use a pattern to make a sundial. Their task is to figure out the angle of the gnomon that is appropriate for the latitude where they live.
    Download a copy of the Investigation 1 Home/School Connection PDF in English or Spanish.
    Download Other At-Home Activities for Investigation 1 PDF in English or Spanish.

  • Investigation 2: Planetary Systems
    Home School Connection—Students calculate what their age is on various planets.
    Download a copy of the Investigation 2 Home/School Connection PDF in English or Spanish.
    Download Other At-Home Activities for Investigation 2 PDF in English or Spanish.
    How Big and How Far? Activity—Additional Directions: For use with the Student Video for Investigation 2: Planetary Systems, Part 2: How Big and How Far?

  • Investigation 3: Earth's Atmosphere
    Home School Connection—Students record forecasts in their home area.
    Download a copy of the Investigation 3 Home/School Connection PDF in English or Spanish.
    Download Other At-Home Activities for Investigation 3 PDF in English or Spanish.

  • Investigation 4: Heating Earth—Students determine how many sun days it takes to grow their favorite foods.
    Download a copy of the Investigation 4 Home/School Connection PDF in English or Spanish.
    Download Other At-Home Activities for Investigation 4 PDF in English or Spanish.

  • Investigation 5: Water Planet
    Home School Connection—Students compare the price of heating water with electric and gas water heater and look for ways to reduce hot-water use in their home.
    Download a copy of the Investigation 5 Home/School Connection PDF in English or Spanish.
    Download Other At-Home Activities for Investigation 5 PDF in English or Spanish.

Math Extensions for Each Investigation

Download a copy of the Earth and Sun Math Extensions PDF in English or Spanish.


New COVID-19 Assignment (updated 5/08/2020)

FOSS has developed two 5-day lesson plans about the novel virus SARS-CoV-2 for you to use with science students in grades 5-8. These lessons are suitable for students who have reliable Internet access at home. If students do not have home access to technology, see the documents for suggested modifications.

Lesson 1 (in English or Spanish) is divided into 5 different topics.

  1. What is a virus?
  2. How does SARS-CoV-19 spread in humans?
  3. What is exponential growth?
  4. What do we know and not know about SARS-CoV-19?
  5. What are scientists doing to stop SARS-CoV-19?

Lesson 2 (in English or Spanish) is divided into 5 different topics.

  1. Research updates from April 2020
  2. Treating the disease: COVID-19 antiviral treatments
  3. Preventing the disease: SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
  4. Profile of Dr. Corbett
  5. Using models to think about what's next

Information about the Interactive eBooks App

Check with your child’s teacher to see if you can view an electronic version of the FOSS Science Resources book at home. Please be sure to ask your child’s teacher for the FOSSweb class login information.

The FOSS Science Resources Interactive eBook(s) html version can be viewed through an appropriate browser after logging in to FOSSweb. In addition, the FOSS Science Resources Interactive eBook(s) can be downloaded and viewed through the FOSS eBooks app. Install the FOSS eBooks app and download each FOSS Science Resources Interactive eBook onto any devices that you will be using. An Interactive eBook tutorial is available to share with students.

  1. To download the FOSS eBooks app for your device, please click the appropriate link and follow the steps to install.

    Click the appropriate link for your device to download the FOSS eBooks app and follow the steps below to install.


    iOS devices:


    Android devices: (including some Chromebook devices*)

    Get it on Google Play
  2. Once the FOSS eBooks app is downloaded, log into the app using the same username and password provided by the teacher to log in to FOSSweb.

  3. Select which FOSS Science Resources Interactive eBook(s) you want to access through the app and download. Each book will take between 200-400 mB of file space on your device.