Skip Navigation

Utah Core  •  Curriculum Search  •  All Science - Elementary Lesson Plans  •  USBE Science - Elementary website


Science - Elementary Curriculum
Science - 3rd Grade
Back to Previous Screen Back
Lesson Plans  
Standard 2
Students will understand that organisms depend on living and nonliving things within their environment.
Objective 2
Describe the interactions between living and nonliving things in a small environment.
  • Disguise! Disguise!
    Students will learn how some animals disguise or camouflage themselves as a form of protection.
  • If Bugs Could Talk - Bugs Don't Bug Me
    Students will evaluate the quality of a “water sample” (using a bag of skittles to represent pollution and pictures of aquatic macroinvertebrates to represent invertebrates found in their sample), graph their results, and form a hypothesis about the land use near the location their “water sample” was collected.
  • Introduction to Habitat Alteration
    Students will be introduced to the concepts of habitat and habitat change through lecturing and guided inquiry. Students will engage in an open discussion of habitat change, view time-lapse footage of change, and identify /evaluate images of natural and human caused habitat alteration. Attention will be focused on identifying indicators and causes of habitat alteration.
  • Living, Nonliving or Once Living
    Students investigate what it means to be alive. Students sort items into three categories: living, nonliving, or once living. Yeast and cornmeal are similar looking powders and students will conduct an experiment to see if either powder is alive. A terrarium is used to demonstrate to students that living, nonliving, and once living materials all interact in an ecosystem.
  • Looking at the Community Tree
    A neighborhood tree is observed for evidence of interactions between living and nonliving things.
  • Macroinvertebrate Graphing Activity - Bugs Don't Bug Me
    Students will learn about water quality indicators through the use of candy representing a “macroinvertebrate sample.” Sorting the candy and evaluating what is found will tell the students about the quality of the water.
  • Making a Mini Worm Habitat
    This activity, making a mini-worm habitat, will allow the students to understand the process of converting organic waste into usable fertilizer. Students will observe how living and nonliving things interact with one another.
  • Mini-Ecosystems
    Students will make small-scale environments and will describe interactions between living and nonliving things in their environments.
  • Shrink to Fit
    Students will explore and discuss how various living and non-living organisms help and react to one another other, especially if they were placed in a small environment.
  • TRB 3:2 - Investigation 2 - Greenhouses
    Students will set up a miniature greenhouse to help them understand how nonliving things affect the growth of living things.
  • TRB 3:2 - Investigation 3 - Terrariums / Aquariums
    Creating aquariums/terrariums help students understand how creatures depend on living and nonliving things.
  • TRB 3:2 - Investigation 4 - Plot Studies
    Students use a plot map to study the plants and animals living in a small area of their environment.
  • The Ant Attack
    By learning about and observing ants students will make predictions about the effects of changes in the ants' environment.
  • Water Pollution Graphing - Bugs Don't Bug Me
    Students will evaluate the quality of a “water sample” (a bag of skittles), graph their results, and form a hypothesis about the land use near the location their “sample” was collected.
  • What's Different About These Worms?
    Students observe three different worm models. They will identify what is living and nonliving with the Worm Model Characteristics. After discussing similarities and differences, the students will predict how the three worm models will react when using a flashlight, a heat source (the sun), and water for moisture.
  • What's in the dirt?
    This simple experiment will provide students an opportunity to observe changes in a small environment.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Richard Scott and see the Science - Elementary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
© Utah Education Network in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education and Higher Ed Utah.
UEN does not endorse and is not responsible for content on external websites linked to from this page.
(800) 866-5852     |     KUEN CPB Compliance    |     Web Accessibility     |     Captioning