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Science - 3rd Grade
Standard 2 Objective 1:
Students learn to distinguish between living and nonliving things.
Your students may have trouble distinguishing between living, nonliving, and once-living things. Children may consider everything that moves to be alive, including cars and clouds. Often children pretend that objects are alive so that they can talk to them. Children also have difficulty comparing once-living objects with objects that have never lived. Living and nonliving are scientific terms. Children are more used to hearing living or dead. By exploring various objects and organisms, your students can begin to distinguish between things that are living, things that were once-living, and things that are nonliving.
Pre-Assessment/Invitation to Learn
Tell the class that you are going to do two demonstrations. You want them to make close observations and to be prepared to explain what they saw happen during each demonstration.
Thoroughly rinse out the dish before beginning the second demonstration.
Various objects and organisms, such as the following:
This activity can be done with the whole class working together or in groups if enough objects can be obtained (see materials list). Students could work in cooperative teams of 3 to 5 students.
Ask students to look around their homes, yards, and neighborhoods and take notes on the living, once-living, and nonliving things they can find. Have students add their notes to their science journals and share what they learned with their teams.
Have students divide a piece of paper into three columns and title each column with "Living", "Nonliving", or "Once-living". Challenge the students to list as many things as they can for each category.