Living and Nonliving Things

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Living and Nonliving Things

Students learn that all living things have needs and some of these are air, water, and energy from food. They are shown how to tell the difference between living and nonliving things. They also learn that plants are living things and see how their needs are met and how they move, grow, and change. Finally, they compare objects at home, in a pond, in a neighborhood, and on a farm, and group them as either living or nonliving.

Figure out the differences between living and nonliving things.

  1. Students will understand the signs of life that all living things exhibit.
    1. Living things grow and change. An insect grows from a tiny larva to an adult insect. A plant grows from a tiny sprout to a tree, bush, or vine.
    2. Living things move on their own. Animals breathe, walk, crawl, slither, and jump. Even plants are able to move their leaves to face the sunlight, so that they can undergo photosynthesis.
    3. All living things reproduce, meaning, and they have offspring. Plants reproduce by making seeds from which new plants can grow. Animals produce baby animals.
    4. Students will realize that living things need food, water, and air to grow, change, move, and reproduce. Humans, for example, eat fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat; they breathe air and drink water. Plants obtain food by producing it inside their leaves; this food is produced from sunlight, air, water, and nutrients obtained through the soil.
  2. Students will observe that nonliving things do not grow, change, move on their own, reproduce, or eat. Though some nonliving things have traits that make them appear to be living, it does not mean they are alive. For example, a car moves, but it does not move on its own; it might change over time (it might rust), but it does not grow; also, it does not reproduce.
  3. Students will know that there are many nonliving things that used to be living. The wood in a chair was obtained from a tree that was living, but once the tree was cut down, the wood in the tree ceased to be alive.
  4. Students will be able to use sorting techniques to describe objects as living or nonliving.

  1. Have students glue two yarn circles onto a piece of construction paper. Label one circle "Living Things," and the other circle "Nonliving Things." Ask the students to cut pictures out of magazines or draw pictures of things that fit into each group.
  2. Make two large circles in the center of the room. Label one circle "Living Things," and the other circle "Nonliving Things." Have students collect things from around the classroom (or have them bring in one or two objects from home — labeled with their name). Each student should then place his or her object in the correct circle.

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