Unit 3 – Kingdoms of Life

Lesson 1 – Living or Non-living 

Ugh, I want to just jump into the Animal lesson plan because who are we kidding, animals are the best. But before learning about the different kinds of life, we need to know about what makes one thing living and another thing non-living. And to do that, we are going to prove how alive we are by exercising.


Connecting a definition to movement.


  1. Posterboard with basic life principles
  2. Science journals
  3. A place to move around!

Poster Board Components:

Let’s start with some basic principles of life

  1. DNA – the building blocks of life, it is what makes you look, act, and smell like not only your species but your parents as well
  2. Reproduction – reproduction is when one organism can create more of itself, this can be done with a partner to help or in some cases by only one organism
  3. Adaptable – this is the ability to change with the environment as the environment changes. Adaptation happens over thousands of years, but all living organisms can do it.
  4. Growth – The ability to continue to gain mass and size, MOST nonliving things can only get smaller, not larger.
  5. The ability to convert energy – the ability to take a substance (usually food) and convert it into activities such as running, breathing, or even sleeping.


  1. Using the poster board as a reference, complete a small lecture on the components of life.
  2. Students should have their science journals out and taking notes. Have them label this page “Nonliving or Living.”
  3. Let’s get physical!! Dedicate an exercise to living (like jumping jacks) and dedicate an exercise to nonliving (like pushups).
  4. Now slowly read the list. If the item is living doing a jumping jack (or exercise of your choice). If the item is nonliving, do a push up (or exercise of your choice). If your student struggles to decide if it is living or nonliving, walk your child through the conditions of life until they come to the correct conclusion (this will help with problem-solving and critical thinking skills).
    1. List: planted flowers, cell phones, clouds, frogs, rocks, bird, bush, car, ladder, brush, wasp, fish, cats, mirrors, cup, water, sloths, whales, lava, table, volcanoes, makeup, curtains, sharks, clams, spiders, dogs, bacteria, stars, trees, sand (feel free to keep adding examples).
    2. Alive: planted flowers, trees, cats, frogs, bacteria, bird, bush, grass, dogs, bushes, wasp, fish, spiders, sloths, whales, sharks, clams (feel free to keep making up examples).
    3. Not alive: clouds, cell phones, mirrors, rocks, cup, sand, stars, car, ladder, brush, water, air, car, table, lava, volcanoes, makeup, seashells, curtains (feel free to keep making up examples).
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