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FOSS Kits--Investigations and Accessibility

Contact Jennifer Bliss, IESBVI STEM Consultant for ideas for making kit investigations and assessments accessible. The following is an example of guidance that is available on a kit by kit basis:

Materials and Motion-NGSS Version--Kindergarten

Investigation Number and Description

Topic—Focus Questions

Accessibility Suggestions

Inv 1: Getting to Know Wood

Students work with five different wood samples to observe their properties. They begin with free exploration, go on a hunt for matching samples, drop water on the samples, and float them in basins. They test the wood to find out how many paper clips it takes to sink it, then organize their results by making a concrete graph. Students use sandpaper to change the shape of wood. They compare sawdust and shavings and how they interact with water. They simulate the manufacture of two kinds of wood—particleboard and plywood.


1.1 Observing Wood

Where does wood come from?

What is made of wood?

Student should be able to feel a difference in the texture and density of most of the wood samples—but may need partner or teacher help in clarifying differences and recording observations. "The Story of a Chair" is available as an video story and also as audio on FOSS multimedia.


1.2 Wood and Water

What happens when wood gets wet?

Students should be able to feel how water is absorbed by wood and the property of floating.


1.3 Testing a Raft

How can you sink wood?

How many passengers will a wood raft hold?

Students should be allowed to feel the pieces of wood in the tub as weight is added to sink them. Encourage student to actively be involved in the adding of paper clips and recording of data. Braille writer could be used to tally paper clips added for group data. A bar graph of tactile pieces can be independently created.


1.4 Sanding Wood

How can you change the shape of wood?

These activities are accessible. Student should be able to feel the change in the wood and the pieces of sawdust that are created.


1.5 Sawdust and Shavings

How are sawdust and shavings the same?

How are sawdust and shavings different?

Student should be allowed to feel the changes in the sawdust and shavings as they are soaked and then slowly dry.


1.6 Making Particleboard

How is particleboard made?

Student should be encouraged to actively participate and feel the sawdust and completed particleboard as well as actively participate in stirring and creation of particleboard. "What is Agriculture" video is online in FOSS multimedia.


1.7 Making Plywood

How is plywood made?

(Same as above)

Inv 2: Getting to Know Paper

Students observe and compare the properties of ten kinds of paper and go on a hunt for matching samles. They compare how well the papers fold and which has the best surface for writing. They test papers for absorption, then soak the samples overnight. Students learn how to recycle paper by making new paper from old and crafting papier mache bowls.

2.1 Paper Hunt

What is made of paper?



Students should be able to feel the difference in the samples of paper. A color ID app can be used to determine color. When students go on a paper hunt, the student can just match samples that have been placed out on a table. "The Story of a Box" is available in audio or video format on the Foss Multimedia. "Where is Wood?" is an online activity that is not accessible and teacher or peer assistance will be necessary.


2.2 Using Paper

What makes paper good for writing?

What makes paper easy to fold?

Student should be able to feel the crayon when drawing on the different papers, but peer or teacher help will be needed to identify what happens with markers and pencils. Folding activity should be accessible with help from a teacher.


2.3 Paper and Water

What happens when water gets on paper?

Much of the observations of paper will have to be done with peer or teacher help. Student should be able to feel how different types of paper change when wet and when fibers break apart. It will take careful observation and notes to determine the difference in paper that dries after it has been wet and dried again.


2.4  and 2.5 Paper Recycling and Paper Mache

How can new paper be made from old paper?

How can paper be made strong to form a bowl?



Student should be able to fully participate in these two activities.

Inv. 3

Getting to Know Fabric

Students observe and compare the properties of ten kinds of fabric and search for different ways fabrics are used. They take apart fabrics to learn how they are woven from threads. Students investigate how fabrics interact with water. They consider the properties of different fabrics and decide which fabric are good choices for clothing. Students plan how they can conserve, reuse, and recycle. They observe the warming effect of the Sun and design a structure to reduce the effect of heating.

3.1 Feely boxes and fabric hunt

How are fabrics made?

What is made of fabric?

 Students can be experts on textures of fabrics. A color ID app such as "Color ID" for the iPhone or iPad can be used to help students identify colors.


3.2 Taking Fabric Apart

How is fabric made?

Student can feel threads of fabric. Teacher can record student observations.


3.3 Water and Fabric

What happens when water gets on fabric?

Students will be able to use touch to understand the differences in fabric as they are wet and dry. Teacher or para can record observations.


3.4 Graphing Fabric Uses

How are different kinds of fabric used?

Students should be able to create the graph if materials are tactile. "How Are Fabrics Used" in the student book is available as audio or video story as well in the Foss Multimedia online.


3.5 Reuse and Recycling Resources

How can we conserve natural resources?

Videos available in Foss Multimedia include "Land, Air and Water" and "Clothing and Building Materials." "Recycling Center" game on multimedia is not accessible--student will need help to complete the online activity.

Students can sort materials for recycling using magnets to separate metal and texture to sort plastics from metal and paper.


3. 6 Building Structures

What happens to water in sunshine and shade?

How can we design a structure to keep water cool in sunshine?


Student can use a talking thermometer to independently compare the temperatures of water. Students can actively participate in the planning and construction of the structure.

Inv. 4

Getting Things to Move

Students investigate the strength of pushes and pulls needed to move objects. They use gravity to pull balls down slopes to investigate collisions. Students find ways to change the strength and direction of the pull on a rolling ball to meet design challenges. Students change the strength of the push on a balloon rocket flying on a line to explore cause and effect.

4.1 Pushes and Pulls

What causes objects to move?

Allow student to feel string in order to brainstorm ideas for movement. Be sure student has hands on for the motion of the objects with the string.

"Pushes and Pulls" is a story that is available in audio or as an e-story on foss multimedia online.


4.2 Colliding Objects

What happens when objects collide?

Ramps and balls should be easily accessible. Consider having the ball hit a solid surface so the student can hear how quickly the ball moves down the ramp. Student should be able to hear when balls collide. "Collisions" in the student book is available as an e-story and audio recording on the Foss multimedia online.


4.3 Rolling Outdoors

Where can balls roll on the schoolyard?

Online activity "Build a Roller Coaster" is not accessible and student will need assistance of peer or teacher. Student should be encouraged to listen carefully for success of rolling and ramps and success of collisions outside.


4.4 Balloon Rocket

How can we change how far a balloon rocket travels?

Allow student to use pump and feel balloon as it inflates. Student can use braille writer to tally number of pumps for class to keep track of data. Description by peer or teacher will be necessary to describe collision although student can feel the final result along the line after the collision.








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