Summary: 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.
Part of this inquiry is designed to be an outdoor discovery that
can be extended to seasonal investigations.
Topics: characteristics and structure of life, diversity and
interdependence of living things.
Ohio Academic Standards Alignment: Ohio Academic Standards
Time Required: 45 minutes (How Do I Observe My
45 minutes (How Do I Classify Things in My
World?), 45 minutes (Is it Real Or
45 minutes (What is
Living?), 45 minutes (What Is Living
Time: 225-300 minutes.
Classification. The lessons introduce students to scientific classification by helping them
understand how scientists classify items in the world into two
groups: living things and nonliving things. They will learn these
characteristics through a variety of experiences. Students will
evaluate and classify by asking key questions.
Ideas to Reinforce During the Activity That Support Ohio Standards
- Living things have needs that must be met in order to survive.
The following acronyms may help reinforce these needs with your students.
- animals need SWAFS (Shelter, Water, Air, Food, Space)
- plants need LAWNS (Light, Air, Water, Nutrients, Space)
- Nonliving things do not have needs that must be met.
- Pretend things (imaginary play with stuffed animals, cartoons) do not have needs that must be met.
- Classify means to sort into groups with similar characteristics.
- Predict means to make a "thinking" guess rather than a guess based on impulse.
- Habitat means the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally grows.
- Scientists observe and record things in our world.
- A scientific method is a process of investigation that starts with a question and follows a set of repeatable steps to find an answer. In this investigation the following steps are used:
- Tell about our world
Strategies for Success in the Classroom. The following are general guidelines for ensuring optimal student success in learning through proven instructional strategies.
- Pre instructional Strategies used by the teacher are
important for primary inquiry lessons because they improve student
- Communicate behavioral objectives to the class prior to
beginning the lesson
- Focus on science safety issues concerning behavior, care of
equipment, and observing living things
- Communicate and review procedures for each inquiry
- Provide an anticipatory set to engage students
- State the learning goals and concepts before, during, and after
- Provide graphic organizers that relate what is to be
learned to what is already known
- Questioning Strategies used by the teacher help
focus students on inquiry and science discovery.
the levels of questions asked, progressing from knowledge-level
questions to comprehension, analysis, and application
- Use wait time by pausing three to five seconds after asking a
question and after the student response is given
- Allow opportunity for students to verbalize and talk to each
other about newly learned concepts
- Emphasize that observation and inquiry leads to new questions to
- Modifying materials helps primary students
- Rewrite materials for specific reading levels
- Adapt lessons to meet the needs of all exceptionalities
- Provide directions that reach all learning modalities
- graphic organizers
- Providing manipulatives allows students to be
involved with physical discovery.
- Hands-on involvement makes concepts more concrete
- Manipulatives should be relative to their world
- Inquiry Teaching Techniques help students
assume responsibility for learning objectives.
- Inquiry lessons encourage students to observe and answer
- Guided discoveries help primary students progress through
the levels of investigation
- Inductive laboratories generate new questions during
- Information Gathering
- Students will demonstrate good explanations based on
evidence gathered from investigations
- Students will draw and/or describe things as accurately as
possible when making observations
- Partner-Pair Share
- Students will be assigned a partner to share
observations, materials, ideas, and reflections