Living and Non-Living

Ollie L. Jamison Delano Elementary School
3937 W. Wilcox Street
Chicago IL 60624
(312) 534-6620


This lesson was designed for primary grades 1-3. The main objective of this
mini-teach is to generalize that all living things need air, water, food and

Materials Needed:

Plant, wood, plastic, bird, hamster, turtle, crab.


1. Take the students for a walk around the school. Have each student make a
list of all the living things they see.
2. Develop a game for the identification of living and non-living things.
3. Tell the pupils to bring a healthy plant to school. Do not water the plant
for a week or two. Have the students observe what happens to the un-watered
plant. Keep a class journal of what happened.
4. Tell the students to hold their breath for as long as they can. Record the
amount of time each student holds his or her breath. How did you feel after
this activity?
5. Have students explain different kinds of shelter used by humans. Ask them
if all people need shelter.
6. Have students think of things that might destroy the good air at home or
out-of-doors. (Answers might include smoking, pollution, strong odors etc.)

Performance Assessment:

1. How does something in the world qualify as a living thing?
2. What two groups can everything in the world be divided into?
3. What is an organism?
4. What are two differences between living and non-living things?


At the conclusion of this mini-teach pupils will be able to tell that all
living things need food, air, water and shelter in order to survive.


Write the name of all living things under the appropriate category.

Living Things Non-living Things 1. 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 5. 5. All living things have three general characteristics. What are they? 1. 2. 3.
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