Living vs. Nonliving Things
The student is expected to examine evidence that living organisms have basic needs such as food, water, and shelter for animals and air, water, nutrients, sunlight, and space for plants.
The student knows that plants and animals have basic needs and depend on the living and nonliving things around them for survival.
What is Life? Annenberg Learner (website) - Distinguish between living organisms, dead things, and nonliving objects. Includes a video that provides adult background knowledge.
Wildlife’s Requirements for Survival: Texas Parks and Wildlife (PDF) - General information about the three basic things that all animals need to survive: food, water and shelter.
Is it Alive? Ohio Department of Education (PDF) - Students identify characteristics of living and non-living things, and use vocabulary to describe things with which they interact on a daily basis.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Websites for “What Are Living and Nonliving Things?” SciLinks (website) - Links to many lessons that teach core concepts such as why living things need air, water, soil, and light, and what happens if living organisms do not get these things.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Hey Diddle Diddle: Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin (PDF) - Use the nursery rhyme, “Hey Diddle Diddle,” to sort living organisms and nonliving objects.
Resources and the Environment - Assessments BioEd Online (PDF) - Assessment activity for use before and after a unit about resources and the environment, designed to evaluate students’ knowledge of the origins of natural and designed resources.
Basic Needs. Feldman, Jean (ISBN-13: 978-1615902132)
What’s Alive? Zoehfeld, Kathleen (ISBN-13: 978-0780754133)
Living and Nonliving. Lindeen, Carol K. (ISBN-13: 978-1429628884)
Classification of Living and Nonliving Things. Rose, Elizabeth (ISBN-13: 978-1404228184)
Is it Living or Nonliving? Rissman, Rebecca (ISBN-13: 978-1432922795)
Are You Living? A Song About Living and Nonliving Things. Salas, Laura (ISBN-13: 978-1404853027)
Ourselves: BBC Schools (website) - Interactive game in which students identify objects as either living or non-living.