Living things are those that have the ability to grow, reproduce, and maintain their own internal processes. Non-living things, on the other hand, do not possess these characteristics. In this article, we will discuss different ways to sort living and non-living things, as well as provide examples of each.
Characteristics of Living Things
- Growth: Living things have the ability to grow, whether it be through cell division or physical expansion.
- Reproduction: Living things have the ability to reproduce, whether it be through asexual or sexual reproduction.
- Metabolism: Living things have the ability to maintain their internal processes, such as respiration and digestion.
Characteristics of Non-Living Things
- Inability to grow: Non-living things do not have the ability to grow, as they are not alive.
- Inability to reproduce: Non-living things do not have the ability to reproduce, as they are not alive.
- Inability to maintain internal processes: Non-living things do not have the ability to maintain internal processes, as they are not alive.
When sorting between living and non-living things, it is important to consider the characteristics outlined above. For example, a tree is a living thing because it can grow, reproduce, and maintain internal processes. A rock, on the other hand, is a non-living thing because it cannot grow, reproduce, or maintain internal processes.
Another example is a dog, which is a living thing because it can grow, reproduce and maintain internal processes such as respiration, digestion and excretion. A toy dog on the other hand is a non-living thing as it cannot grow, reproduce or maintain internal processes.
Classroom Exercise: Sorting Living and Non-Living Things
Objective: Students will be able to sort and identify living and non-living things based on their characteristics.
- A variety of objects (e.g. plants, rocks, toys, etc.)
- Sorting cards (with characteristics of living and non-living things written on them)
- Pen or pencil
- Begin by reviewing the characteristics of living and non-living things with the class. Make sure students understand the difference between the two.
- Divide the class into small groups of 3-4 students.
- Provide each group with a variety of objects and sorting cards.
- Have students sort the objects into two piles: living and non-living. As they sort, they should also be able to match the characteristics of the objects with the characteristics on the sorting cards.
- After sorting, have students discuss their findings with their group and come to a consensus on their sorting decisions.
- Have each group share their findings with the class and explain their reasoning for sorting certain objects as living or non-living.
- As a class, review any discrepancies and discuss any misconceptions.
- As an extension activity, have students research and find additional examples of living and non-living things and present them to the class.
- Observe students during the sorting activity and note their ability to correctly identify and sort living and non-living things.
- Review class discussions and group presentations for understanding of the characteristics of living and non-living things.
Note: Make sure to adapt the exercise for student's level and age.
Here is another exercise:
We love teaching children to learn stories with shapes. Here is a picture of a person made with shapes. We recommend asking students to try new shapes and ask them how they are sorting them.
In conclusion, living things have the ability to grow, reproduce, and maintain their own internal processes, while non-living things do not. Sorting between living and non-living things can be done by considering these characteristics and providing examples of each.