Living and Nonliving Lessons

Living and Nonliving is actually five activities in one inquiry. In How Do I Observe My World?, students use their senses to record and collect data. In How Do I Classify Things in My World?, students practice classifying objects as living or nonliving. In Is it Real Or Pretend?, students group objects as real or pretend. In What is Living?, students discover the needs of living things. In What Is Living Outdoors?, students compare indoor and outdoor discoveries. The Family Page extends this learning to the community by inviting parents and students to classify living and nonliving things at home. This lesson engages students through hands-on learning. There are links for online applications and interactions for students, actual living or nonliving materials to sort, and printable work sheets for every activity and lesson.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 

Instruct students to use a raised arm with "thumbs-up" to signal an exciting discovery so that animals and other people are not disturbed.

Helpful Hints

Several trade books will need to be gathered prior to teaching.



Trade books:

  • In the Woods: Who's Been Here by Lindsay Barrett George
  • Salamander Room by Ann Mazer
  • Gray Rabbits Odd One Out by Allen Baker
  • What's Alive by Kathleen Zoehfeld
  • Welcome to a River of Grass by Jan Yolen
  • What is a Scientist? by Barbara Lehn