Elementary Science

Author Post
Bethsabet Mora Bethsabet Mora 2210 Points

What are some good activities to do with fifth grade students on a lesson of living and non-living things?

Molina Walters Molina Walters 1215 Points

Hello, Have you thought about taking the students outside? You can take the students outside and have them find a location and make a list of all the things they see. Tell them they have 3 minutes to record as many things as they can. You can have students share some of the items on their list and you can ask them it is or was alive or it it never was alinve and never will be alive. (leaf, rock etc). From here you can take it in many directions.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Bethsabet,

Like Molina and Arlene suggested, taking your students outside is a great way to help them explore living and non-living things. This book chapter, Insect Habitat Web is a great lesson that engages students an outdoor investigation of living and non-living things. The lesson is written for 2-4 grades, but I'm sure you can modify it for 5th graders. Another idea is to have your students look through magazines to find living and non-living things. They can organize the objects into a T-chart or similar graphic organizer.

Have fun exploring!


Sherrilyn Sampaia Sherrilyn Sampaia 550 Points

In Hawaii, living and non-living things are taught in kindergarten. One thing that I remember doing while I was in elementary school and student teaching, is to have the children go outside and collect living and non living things. They could collect rocks, bugs, leaves, twigs etc. and then classify them in the classroom. They could also observe the attributes of living and non living things and write/draw thier observations in a journal(grow, need sunlight/water/shelter, etc...) They could make a home connection by bringing a living or nonliving thing from home and then share it in class. They could grow a plant and observe what happens when there is no water or sunlight. They could also measure how much the plant has grown over the days.

Veralyn Ulep Veralyn Ulep 1010 Points

I really like the idea of exploring outside for students to gather and identify living and non-living things. I had my students do it once and used a T-chart to identify what would be living and what would be non-living. After students try to identify on their own, we would have a class discussion on what might it mean to be "living" or what do living things do. My students would say things such as eat, breath, and use the bathroom. Other things that may confuse them is the whole thing about "movement" where living things can move because non-living things can move too. However, students have to understand that it takes other things to make those non-living things move. Having this type of inquiry on which students discuss what it means to be living is very important to develop the students' understanding. After having such a discussion, have students go back outside and rename living and non-living things. You can even display videos, pictures, or simulations of different ecosystems for students to identify living and non-living things.

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