Lesson Plan

Is It Alive?

Orange Trumpet Vine flower

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Grade Level:
Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
Lesson Duration:
30 Minutes
State Standards:
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words.

Essential Question

Standard: SKL1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how organisms (alive and not alive) and non-living objects are grouped.


Determine the difference between living and non-living


As students learn more about their surroundings, it is important for them to understand the difference between living and non-living organisms. This activity will teach them the characteristics of living things.


  • Students will pull an object out of their bag and use the checklist to determine whether or not the object is living or nonliving
  • Recording sheet/checklist
  • Discuss their results




  • (Already know how students are going to be grouped based on a similarity- height, shirt color, how their hair is styled, etc. Try to pick something visual)
  • Discuss with students that things can be put into groups based on similarities, or how they are alike.
  • Tell students that you are going to practice this concept by putting them into groups and they must try and figure out how they are similar. (They are allowed to talk to each other to try and figure out how they are sorted.)
  • If you have more than one way to group the students, repeat the process.
  • Gather the students back together and record who was in the groups.
  • Ask the students to share how they were grouped and label the groups on the chart. Explain to the students that they will be looking at the characteristics of things to sort them into groups.
  • Divide students into groups, give them living/nonliving sort, monitor and record how the students are sorting. (They will complete this again at another time)
  • Allow students a chance to share how they grouped their pictures.


Vocabulary: living, non-living

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Last updated: July 27, 2018